HCM City eyes expansion options
HCM CITY (VNS)— A new urban-governance model for HCM City, which includes independent governance by four satellite cities, is expected to hasten socio-economic development and meet the demand of a growing population.
In a resolution issued in August, the Politburo approved the new governance model. The city has since piloted some of the model's provisions.
According to Le Minh Tri, deputy chairman of the city People's Committee, the urban-governance model calls for independent management unit for each city level.
"The purpose is to create self-motivation, self-control and self-government so that we can fully promote the strengths of HCM City. The city has to be responsible for the changes," he said. "The model will be an impetus for the development of the entire country."
The management model, which differs from other models used in the country's 63 provinces and cities, would be the first of its kind in the country.
Under the model, the city centre and satellite cities would each be run by an independent governmental entity.
At the HCM City level, the governing entity would have a People's Council and a People's Committee.
In each satellite city, there would be a People's Council and an Administrative Committee that would serve as an executive body.
The head of each satellite city would have the power to deal with every issue related to socio-economic management. Towns and wards in the satellite cities would not have people's councils.
Tri told Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper that governance changes were badly needed, even though the central government had in the past increased the authority of people's committees, decentralised several sectors and eliminated all people's councils at the district and ward levels.
He said the city had been struggling with an inappropriate management model that was still used in all of the country's cities and provinces.
"The city's population now includes 10 million local residents and 80,000 foreigners," he said.
"Our tax contribution to the national budget is 10 to 15 times bigger than that of any other province, and our tax-collection staff is only 1.5 times bigger than that of any other province," he added.
Due to rapid urbanisation, several wards in the city, which now have a population of 100,000 each, have management units that are suited to wards of only 30,000 people.
Tri said, the head of each satellite city has the full right to make fast, prompt decision on any issues of residents. The governing entity will be responsible for managerial functions and will generate appropriate policies, but residents will be the impetus for the development of the city.
"The model will bring devolution, decentralisation and self-responsibility to make use of our urban strengths and improve life for residents," Tri said.
He emphasised that the new urban governance model would only work well with dedicated and qualified human resources. Thus, the city should offer training for its civil servants. — VNS