HCM CITY (VNS)— HCM City encountered more challenges this year than the previous year because of economic uncertainty locally and worldwide, a report from the HCM City People's Committee stated.
|Containers at HCM City's VICT Port. The city's industrial sector is expected to grow by 8.5-9.2 per cent this year. – VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Giang
The challenges included declining purchasing power; the rising volume of stockpiled goods; companies' difficult access to bank loans, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises; and the stagnant property and stock markets.
These problems had contributed to a budget revenue that was lower than targeted in 2012.
The report was tabled at the seventh meeting of the Eighth HCM City People's Council that began yesterday and reviewed the socio-economic achievements of the city in 2012 and discussed goals for 2013.
During the opening session, the chairwoman of the city's Council, Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, said that discussions would focus on the implementation of resolutions issued by the sixth meeting and results of the Safe Traffic Year 2012.
Investment plans for capital construction and solutions to voters' proposals and complaints would also be on the agenda.
The report said total gross domestic product (GDP) attained by HCM City in 2012 was VND595,375 billion (US$28.6 billion), up 9.2 per cent compared with the figure in 2011.
The city's service sector grew by 10.2 per cent; the industrial and construction sector by 8 per cent; and the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector by 5.1 per cent. City authorities enhanced market and price management, and as a result, the consumer price index (CPI) in 2012 did not rise above 5.5 per cent, well below the targeted 7 per cent set for the year.
Although this year's GDP growth was lower than 2011 (10.3 per cent), the 9.2 per cent GDP growth rate showed that it was 1.77 times higher than the country's GDP growth rate for the year.
The city attained such a reasonable growth rate at a time of the global economic turmoil, the report said.
In 2013, the city aims to improve the quality of growth along with restructuring the city's economy. It will try to stabilise the macro-economy, lower inflation, and raise the city GDP growth.
The city's GDP is expected to reach VND684,700 – VND686,700 billion ($33 billion), a year-on-year increase of 9.5 per cent to 10 per cent and per capita income to reach $4,000 next year.
The city's service sector is expected to grow by 10.5 per cent to 10.8 per cent; the industrial and construction sector by 8.5 – 9.2 per cent; and the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector by 5 per cent in 2013.
Total investment for development in the city is expected to reach VND248,500 – VND255,000 billion ($12.2 billion), accounting for 36-37 per cent of the city's GDP in 2013.
Before the Council meeting, voters in districts 4, 6, 10, Binh Thanh, Thu Duc, Tan Binh, Binh Chanh, Hoc Mon and Cu Chi had voiced complaints about the worrying spate of robberies and thefts, environmental problems and others problems.
They said that thieves, who had become even more audacious, attacked people on the streets with impunity, making residents feel unsafe when going out.
Despite complaints about the drug hotspots in an alley opposite the city fire station on Phan Dang Luu Street in Binh Thanh District, residents said the place had yet to be raided.
To combat crime, they urged the police and people's committees at all ward and commune levels to increase patrols on the streets.
Many citizens also raised the issue of traffic problems, environmental pollution and wasteful use of public land. The latter includes the licensing of land plots to investors for projects that have been delayed.
They wanted authorities to improve management of public lands and recover public land that had been illegally occupied.
Binh Chanh voters said several projects were progressing at a snail's pace, like the 42-ha university that will be built in Hung Long commune and the Happiness Tenement project in Binh Hung commune.
They said the projects, which have been delayed for several years, should be scrapped to make residents feel secure about continuing to live in their homes.
Voters in Cu Chi District called for reconsidering several delayed projects, including an orchid – and bonsai-growing village in Phuoc Vinh An commune as well as a chemical-pharmaceutical zone in the communes of Phuoc Hiep and Tan An Hoi.
"They should be revoked as soon as possible if they are not feasible," one resident said.
More than 80 petitions signed by voters and sent to lawmakers were related to environmental problems.
In Tan Binh District, residents said they wanted city authorities to reduce pollution in the Tham Luong Canal in Ward 15. The canal floods streets and homes during the rainy season.
They also asked the city to build culverts to reduce pollution from the Tan Tru and Hy Vong canals in Ward 15.
In Binh Chanh District, residents complained about pollution from factories and waste-treatment facilities in Pham Van Hai, Tan Nhut, Binh Loi, Le Minh Xuan, Quy Duc, Binh Hung, and Da Phuoc communes.
Many manufacturing facilities in District 12 discharge waste water into canals, causing environmental problems in the district.
Hoc Mon voters said canals in the district such as An Ha and Tran Quang Co had been causing serious pollution.
In District 11, voters said they wanted the city to stop manufacturing facilities in the provinces of Long An, Tay Ninh, and Dong Nai from discharging waste water into HCM City. They asked the city to work with authorities in those provinces to solve the problem.
Tan Binh District voters said a lead-production facility had been discharging toxic waste, affecting residents in Ward 15. — VNS