HCM City seeks additional $5b worth of public investment

August, 29/2022 - 08:39
HCM City is seeking approval for an additional VNĐ120 trillion (US$5.13 billion) of public investment from the central government and the disbursement of previously approved public investment in order to speed up the progress of major public projects, said a city official.

 

Phan Văn Mãi, chairman of HCM City People’s Committee, speaks at a meeting, discussing ways to hasten disbursement of public investment. —VNS/VNS Photo

HCM CITY — HCM City is seeking approval for an additional VNĐ120 trillion (US$5.13 billion) of public investment from the central government and the disbursement of previously approved public investment in order to speed up the progress of major public projects, said a city official.

Phan Văn Mãi, chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said the city would need VNĐ672 trillion of public investment for the 2020-25 period but only VNĐ142 trillion was approved, or 21 per cent of what is needed, which is too low.

Mãi said the city would also speed up disbursement of public investment, especially for major public projects.

It has established three working groups: one in charge of site clearance, one in charge of reviewing public projects with large investment but slow disbursement, and one in charge of reviewing challenges related to projects using ODA capital.

As of the end of July, the city’s total public investment disbursement reached more than VNĐ8.4 trillion, accounting for only 26 per cent of the year’s target (VNĐ32 trillion). About 100 public projects have not had funds disbursed for them, according to a report from the city administration.

For projects using official development assistance (ODA), disbursement reached only 8 per cent in the first seven months, the report said.

The city’s total public investment disbursement last year accounted for only 61.3 per cent of the year’s target, it added.

Public investment disbursement remains too slow, causing major public projects to be delayed for years, according to Mãi, who attributed the tardiness to complicated administrative procedures, among other problems.

Mãi said it was imperative to speed up the progress of major projects such as metro routes and Ring Road No. 3, and invest more in roads connecting sea ports and airports. 

The city aims for 95 per cent of public investment to be disbursed this year, according to Mãi.

In addition, the city would seek private funds for public facilities such as schools, hospitals and cultural and sports centres through the equitisation of state-owned businesses.

It has proposed the central government allow it to attract private investment for such public projects.

The country’s public disbursement rate reached 35.5 per cent of the year’s target plan in the first eight months, of which, domestic capital reached 41 per cent and foreign capital 14 per cent, according to a report of the Ministry of Finance.

Provinces with a high disbursement rate included Tiền Giang (64 per cent), Thái Bình (58 per cent), Phú Thọ (57 per cent), Long An (55 per cent) while other localities have low disbursement rate of less than 35 per cent.

At a recent meeting to speed up public investment disbursement rates, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính ordered localities to remove any obstacles.

Nguyễn Chí Dũng, Minister of Planning and Investment, said the head of ministries and local agencies in charge of public projects would be responsible for any issues related to the projects’ disbursement rate. — VNS

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