As crisis deepens, government planning major construction projects

Construction workers working on a rail project. Photo is illustrative.
Construction workers working on a rail project. Photo is illustrative. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

As the crisis deepens, the Estonian government plans on coming to the rescue of the economy and the construction sector by launching major projects for which procurements could be announced right away, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said on Thursday.

"I believe that toward the end of the year, the situation in the construction sector may grow increasingly complicated," Ratas said at Thursday's government press conference. "This was also one of the wishes of this supplementary budget, to signal as much as possible, regarding the opportunities of the public sector and the budget, to increase these investments in particular. Whether via local governments, whether via road construction, or whether via investments in or the renovation of apartment buildings."

Last Thursday, the government and its ministers were also tasked with reviewing major projects that were fundamentally immediately ready for construction procurements should the economic crisis worsen further, and which could more quickly activate investing, he added.

Ratas said that at its meeting on Thursday, the government approved support for sports facilities.

"The goal of this support is providing one-time grants to proprietors of sports facilities to help partially reimburse damages incurred by the viral outbreak-induced crisis," he explained. "This allowed for sports facilities to reopen and continue operations following the conclusion of the emergency situation. The volume of the measure totaled €400,000."

Ratas said that the government also approved the minister of economic affairs and infrastructure's draft regulation regarding the use of support for the increasing of the energy efficiency of small houses.

With this regulation, the maximum amount of small house support to be disbursed via Kredex will be increased, and complete reconstruction will be supported to a greater extent than before. Until now, the maximum amount of support was capped at €15,000 or 30 percent of qualifying expenses; now, the maximum amount will depend on one's location.

The maximum support rate and amount for complete reconstruction per small house will be as follows:

  • 30 percent and €30,000: Tallinn, Tartu;
  • 40 percent and €40,000: Harku Municipality, Jõelähtme Municipality, Kiili Municipality, the town of Maardu, Rae Municipality, Saku Municipality, Saue Municipality (with the exception of areas falling within the territory of the former Kernu and Nissi Municipalities prior to 15.10.2017), Viimsi Municipality, Luunja Municipality, Kambja Municipality (within the territory of the merged Ülenurme Municipality prior to 15.10.2017), Tartu Municipality (within the territory of the municipality prior to 15.10.2017), within the territory of the former Tähtvere Municipality prior to 15.10.2017;
  • 50 percent and €50,000: all other locations and administrative units.

According to Ratas, support for the labor market was on the agenda for Thursday's cabinet meeting.

"We will also continue in the cabinet with discussions regarding what additional relaxations of restrictions will be," he added.

The Riigikogu passed a supplementary budget in April that focused first and foremost on short-term economic crisis relief measures.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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