Budapest (MTI) – Hungary’s gas reserves, the country’s road network, the Belgrade-Budapest rail project and other government developments were among subjects discussed by Miklós Seszták, the minister for national development, at parliamentary committee hearings on Tuesday.
Addressing the committee for business development, Seszták said Hungary held 3.7 billion cubic metres of gas in reserves, 13 percent more than last year, which is sufficient and even exceeds the required amount to supply residents for a full year.
This year 568 kilometres of road resurfacing was planned and 90 percent of those upgrades has already been completed, he said. The state will spend 400 billion forints (EUR 1.3bn) on road upgrades in the period until 2020. This year’s spending is 60 billion forints, next year’s is 70 billion, he added.
Hungary expects that the upgraded Belgrade-Budapest rail line can start operation 18-24 months after the agreement had been signed. Hungary wants Chinese mass products to reach European markets via this transit route. The investment is market-based, with the interests of participating China, Serbia and Hungary all observed, he added. Hungary supports plans to take the rail line beyond Belgrade, he said, adding that it would be an “historic opportunity” if the Hungarian state could have a stake “of any degree” in the Slovenian port of Koper.
Addressing the budget committee on Tuesday, Seszták discussed the budget for Hungary organising the World Aquatics Championships next year and said spending would not exceed the budget significantly. In response to a question he said the government’s utility bill cut scheme “can speak for itself”, as customers saved 821 billion forints altogether as a result of this measure. This year alone savings amounted to 179 billion forints, he added. The government treats the utility bill cuts as a priority goal and will be considering further cuts and introducing a similar scheme for industrial clients in future, he said.