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Public investment on right track

Update: March, 23/2013 - 09:25

(VNS) A campaign to restructure public investment has been successful, Cao Viet Sinh, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment told Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economics Times).

Some people have expressed their elation on initial successes gained in the public investment restructuring process. Are you one of them?

To restructure public investment is a part and parcel of the process to restructure our national economy. This year, economic restructuring is considered as a pivotal task for the whole nation. It will focus on three fronts: public investment, the financial system and banks, and State-owned enterprises.

So if we look back at the recent past, some achievements have been reported in various economic domains, including public investment restructuring, merges and acquisitions of some banks and the decision to withdraw capital from their non-core business by some corporations.

However, the most obvious success I have to say is from the public investment restructuring. This success is directly related to the State budget and the stability of the entire national economy. In 2012, to implement the Prime Minister's Instruction 1792/CT-TTg on tightening investment control in projects using the State budget, government bonds or efforts to reduce public investment while improving the investment more efficiently. Those efforts were aimed at curbing the inflation rate, stabilise the macro economy and reduce the percentage of public investment within the society's capital investment.

Tell us some of the successes gained during the implementation of Instruction 1792.

The instruction is a very important document. It has helped us to set order and discipline in public investment.

I'm very glad to say that last year 96.5 per cent of the projects using taxpayers' money in ministries, sectors and localities have complied with the regulations written in the PM's instruction.

The year 2012 was the first time fund allocation was disbursed in accordance with the instruction, so it was a bit too early to claim its success. However, I hope that this year its effectiveness will be much stronger. I firmly believe the number of new projects will be reduced while the completion of existing projects will increase. It is expected that about 2,000 projects using the State budget will be completed this year. They account for about 20 per cent of ongoing projects nationwide.

Since the issuance of Instruction 1792, local authorities are more proactive in deciding which projects they will invest in, not to wait for the central government to make the decisions as in the past.

Do you agree with the interpretation that if we want to make public investment restructuring a success we have to reduce a high amount of investment from the State?

No, I don't think so. The most important objective we have to achieve in the drive to restructure public investment is to make the investment more efficient. If the restructuring is successful, we will be able to release the burden on the State budget.

What are the next steps for the restructuring process in this year?

A key point in Instruction 1792 is to have a well-planned investment so that we can avoid scattered investment.

Investment capital will be disbursed for three years (2013-15), so it is the task of local governments to decide which projects will go ahead and which ones will be scrapped.

But do you think the instruction is the magic wand?

No! It needs the support from other policies, including the introduction of a public-private partnership model. But at present the model is still in its pilot stage. The Ministry of Planning and Investment is compiling a legal framework for the implementation of public-private partnership projects and other legal documents to cultivate trust and attract and protect investors' rights. — VNS


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