Turkey to freeze new government projects, Erdoğan says

Turkish AKP government is putting new government investments on hold as it seeks to rein in spending and halt a slide in the Turkish lira, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said
Friday, 14 September 2018 18:54

Turkey is freezing new government investment projects, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

"We are not considering any fresh investments right now," Erdoğan said, addressing ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) provincial heads in Ankara on Friday. "There could be extraordinary and must-do investments, that's another issue, but apart from this, we will start looking (at investments)".

Projects that are more than 70 percent complete will be finished, he added, but "all our ministries will be reviewing the investment stocks they have and will conduct their work by prioritising."

In another speech on Sept. 13, Erdoğan also underlined the launch of a comprehensive saving movement in the public services, adding that the financial sources would be poured into projects closest to being finished.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who will announce details of a medium-term economic plan next week, has also promised cost-cutting measures and "more efficient spending."

“In order to ensure the budget balance by the end of the year, we will be generating 35 billion liras in savings. The budget deficit will be realized below 2 percent. We will make these savings permanent and continuous in the future,” Albayrak was quoted as saying by Sabah newspaper on Sept. 14.

In a decade and a half in power, his government's more ambitious mega-projects have drawn a backlash for their excessive cost and their impact on the environment.

In order to embed large savings and efficiency in the public sector, the government will establish a cost transformation office, he added.