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    MOSCOW, April 6, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- The Federal Road Agency proposes that more private funds be attracted for road construction in Russia. Anatoly Nasonov, the Agency's chief, said about this Tuesday at the international conference on "Prospects for Road Construction in Russia".

    In his opinion, it will be very difficult to resolve the huge task of road construction without private investments.

    Mr. Nasonov recalled that his Agency worked out a conception of the "National Programme for Modernising and Developing Russia's Motor Roads for the Period up to 2025". The document gives much attention to the opportunities for attracting private funds into road construction.

    In particular, the conception provides for increasing the network of general-purpose motor roads from the present 899,000 km to 1.5 million km and noticeably raising the average daily speed of motor transport. Today, this indicator is about 300 km a day in Russia, and about 1,000 km a day in Europe.

    The Agency's chief also said that the conception of the national programme should be submitted to the government for consideration on May 6.

    Nikolai Seryogin, director of an Agency's department, said, when addressing the conference, that the conception proceeded from the premise that the volume of private financing should be increased stage by stage and reach no less than 15-20% of the total funding of expenses for the construction and exploitation of road facilities. In order to administer these funds, the Agency suggests that a non-state fund for developing the road sector should be set up in the near future.

    In Mr. Seryogin's words, the state will form a board of trustees within the Fund's structure. It will include members of the government at the level of vice-premier, ministers and their deputies.

    "The main tasks of the board of trustees are to coordinate project financing from budget funds with private investments and to ensure legislative support for these projects," Mr. Seryogin said in conclusion.

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