LIMA – Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva said on Wednesday that he would ask the Peruvian Congress to expedite the reconstruction of the country’s northern coast, which was severely affected by El Niño in 2017.
During a speech to call for a vote of confidence for the Cabinet named by new President Martin Vizcarra, Villanueva said that the time needed to build bridges, highways and other infrastructure destroyed by rain and flooding could be reduced by 13 months by redesigning reconstruction plans.
“We have planned to invest in infrastructure projects in 19 rivers and five ravines, as well as in drainage systems in seven cities, from Tumbes to Ica. In addition, public investment will focus on repairing 45,000 homes,” the primer minister said.
Villanueva added that the government plans to spend 4 billion soles ($1.23 billion) on these infrastructure projects in 2018 and a total of 25 billion soles by the end of Vizcarra’s term in 2021.
The prime minister also announced a proposal to regulate the activities of lobbyists and a measure barring people convicted of drug trafficking, money laundering and funding terrorism from holding public office.
The Cabinet chief said that corruption costs Peru the equivalent of 2 percent of GDP per year, a shortfall that “deprives our poorest fellow citizens of schools, hospitals, police stations, roads, bridges and decent work.”
He also explained that the Vizcarra administration is seeking to achieve a 5 percent GDP growth rate by 2021, while making progress on reducing poverty.
“We want an ordered, sustainable, decentralized and equitable economic growth, with fiscal accountability, transparency, results and plenty of dialogue,” Villanueva said.
The Cabinet that Villanueva is heading was sworn in on April 2, soon after Vizcarra became president on March 23, replacing Pedro Pablo Kuczynski who resigned in the midst of a political crisis.