A noted engineering expert and member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) stressed the necessity of strengthening feasibility study of major construction projects in order to improve their return on investment.
Li Jingwen, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering who had participated in the feasibility study of the Three Gorges project and the south-north water diversion project, said the coefficient of return on fixed assets investment has been on the decline. He quoted data from the National Statistical Bureau as saying that it was 70.1 in 1985, 37.2 in 1990, 11.6 in 1999 and 27.5 in 2000. This indicates that there are problems with investment decisions and management, he said.
Feasibility study does not mean passive calculation, but means prediction of return on investment economically and analysis of their social and environmental impact and risks.
He stressed that a feasibility study should include both positive and negative views and reflects objectively the data about resources, technologies, market, financial resources and social effect.
The academician particularly stressed the importance of the evaluation of the impact of a construction project on environment, citing the south-north water diversion project, which takes pollution control as the pre-condition for implementation. The total money to be put into pollution control projects would be 23 billion yuan before 2010, he noted.
(People's Daily March 4, 2002)