The Russian presidential council for financial market development has rejected an initiative put forward by the Moscow Mayor to spend some 4 trillion rubles ($130 billion) over the next 10 years on modernizing Moscow's transport infrastructure, a Russian business daily said on Tuesday.
Mayor Yury Luzhkov's initiative was part of a greater plan, first put forward by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2008, to turn Moscow into an international financial center.
A government official told Vedemosti that Moscow's success as a financial center depends on the government's ability to solve the city's traffic problems.
Luzhkov sent a letter to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, asking him to support a long-term federal transport program for the Moscow region. He asked for funds for the construction of an additional 365 kilometers (227 miles) of railroads and some 100-120 kilometers (62-75 miles) of metro lines, Vedomosti said.
Luzhkov has calculated that a minimum of 4 trillion rubles are needed over the next 10 years. Currently, Moscow has a budget of 300 million rubles ($9.7 million) for all modernization projects including transport, the mayor said.
The official told Vedomosti that the city authorities were ready to increase the budget by up to 1 trillion rubles ($32.4 billion) in the next 10 years, but the rest should be covered by the state budget and private investments.
A Russian Finance Ministry official said such a large allocation was impossible.
"Moscow can optimize its own spending on road construction and take most of it [the requested money] from ifs own budget," he said.
MOSCOW, August 31 (RIA Novosti)