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COVID-19 challenges disbursement of public investment sourced from foreign loans, ODA

Update: August, 27/2020 - 18:23

 

A sum worth more than VNĐ3.7 trillion of public investment sourced from foreign loans and ODA was released in the first eight months of this year, or 21.64 per cent of the plan for the full year. — Photo nhipsongdoanhnghiep.cuocsongantoan.vn

HÀ NỘI — The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging the disbursement of public investment sourced from foreign loans and official development assistance (ODA), requiring hastened efforts to fulfil the Government’s target of fully disbursing public investment this year to drive growth, Deputy Minister of Finance Trần Xuân Hà said.

Hà said at the ministry’s conference on Wednesday that a sum worth more than VNĐ3.7 trillion of public investment sourced from foreign loans and ODA was released in the first eight months of this year, or 21.64 per cent of the plan for the full year, much lower than the disbursement rate of 40 per cent of domestically-sourced public investment.

The goal of public investment disbursement won't be fulfilled unless drastic measures were taken to speed up the progress, he said.

2020 was a decisive year for the public investment disbursement. However, the unpredictable development of the COVID-19 pandemic was significantly affecting every socio-economic field, including foreign-sourced public projects,  Hà said.

A representative from the Ministry of Transport, which had the highest disbursement rate (51 per cent of VNĐ21 trillion public investment), said that the COVID-19 pandemic with travel restrictions was making disbursement slower than expected. Other problems included slow land clearance, relocation and resolving disputes between investors and contractors.

Hoàng Hải, Deputy Director of the Department of Debt Management and External Finance, said that more drastic measures must be taken to speed up the disbursement of public investment.

The finance ministry asked priority to be placed on disbursing foreign-sourced public investment to meet the plan for the full year. For foreign projects which could not be disbursed fully as planned this year, the investment capital must be transferred to others this month.

Hải at the conference revealed that to date, nine ministries and localities asked to return a total of VNĐ3.7 trillion ODA due to failures in disbursement, or 32 per cent of the plan. Of the figure, VNĐ1.8 trillion was from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

According to Hà, the finance ministry would closely work with other ministries and localities to remove problems in the disbursement of public investment, and speed up the process to meet the Government’s target this year.

Hà stressed that disbusement of public investment was the top priority this year to drive growth in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. — VNS

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