Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — In the first half of 2016, foreign donors committed a total amount of US$2.56 billion to Việt Nam as official development assistance and preferential loans – an increase of 61 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Some $1.85 million will be disbursed in the first half of 2016, four per cent lower than that disbursed during the same period last year, according to a report presented yesterday in Hà Nội by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) at a meeting of the National Steering Committee for official development assistance and preferential loans.
The MPI gave several reasons for the slow disbursement of ODA money; namely cumbersome institutional and legal procedures on the Vietnamese side, adjustments during project implementations, different financial procedure requirements between Việt Nam and donors, a slow process of obtaining matching funds from the Vietnamese government and delays in land clearance.
Last but not least, according to the MPI report, the prohibition on disbursing more money than the sum approved by the National Assembly Resolution on the 2016 projected State Budget is a major stumbling bloc for ODA project implementation.
The Ministry of Transport (MOT) is the agency using the most ODA funds, getting 45 per cent of the country’s ODA money between 2011 and 2015.
All ODA projects executed by the MOT have significant impact on the country’s socio-economic development. As a result, the need for timely ODA disbursement is critical, with delays incurring cost overruns and reducing the investment’s efficiency and effectiveness.
Phạm Bình Minh, the Deputy Prime Minister who chaired the event, asked the MPI to work out guidelines to implement the Government Decree (No.16), which came into effect on May 2, on the management and use of ODA and preferential loans.
Minh also asked the State Bank of Việt Nam, the MPI, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work out a suitable road map in order to obtain less preferential loans and more ODA.
He also tasked the MPI and the MOF with writing a report to the Government and the National Assembly Standing Committee to allow projects using ODA funds to disburse the money in accordance with the donors’ commitment. — VNS