Nguyễn Thành Phong (centre), chairman of the city People’s Committee, speaks at a meeting to review the city’s socio-economic development in the first eight months. Photo courtesy of the HCM City Press Centre
HCM CITY — HCM City will continue to speed up the disbursement of public funds and seek to increase budget revenue for the remaining months of the year, the chairman of the municipal People’s Committee has said.
Speaking at a meeting to review socio-economic development in the first eight months, Nguyễn Thành Phong said the city would speed up the disbursement of at least 80 per cent of the planned investment next month in order to achieve the target of over 95 per cent of the plan by the end of the year.
As of August 23, as much as VNĐ21.3 trillion (US$911.5 million) had been disbursed, accounting for 50 per cent of the set target, almost 2.5 times higher than the same period last year, according to Phong.
The HCM City Management Board for Traffic Works Construction and Investment and the HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railway (MAUR) have urged the city to speed up the disbursement rate to ensure the progress of many public projects with huge investments, according to Phong.
Various traffic infrastructure works in the city have begun, but have been delayed due to the low disbursement rate, mostly because of long delays in compensation payments for land, according to the HCM City Management Board for Traffic Works Construction and Investment.
Of the 60 projects that are behind schedule due to land clearance issues, five are under a “red alert” status.
Phong has also urged the HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways to work with relevant units to ensure that all necessary procedures are completed by October 12 for the first metro line trains to arrive in the city.
Earlier this month, the HCM City Management Authority for Urban Railways announced that 75 per cent of the metro line No 1 has been completed.
They expect to complete 85 per cent of the total project by the end of this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic has badly affected the progress as foreign experts have been unable to enter Việt Nam, and it has been difficult to import machinery.
HCM City this year plans to implement 1,643 public investment projects worth VNĐ42.1 trillion ($1,8 billion), of which VNĐ33.94 trillion will be from the city budget and the rest from the central government budget, according to Phong.
HCM City last year spent VNĐ24.62 trillion ($1.06 billion), or only 85 per cent of the allocation, for public spending.
The city will also seek to increase the budget revenue for the remaining months, according to Phong.
According to the Department of Finance, the city’s total budget revenue was estimated at VNĐ220.8 trillion in the first eight months, or 54 per cent of the plan.
The city government has urged tax authorities to work with agencies to resolve enterprises’ challenges, especially for projects that have land but have faced problems in legal procedures, preventing enterprises from fulfilling their financial obligations.
The city People’s Committee has asked the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to speed up the auction of nine land lots in Thủ Thiêm new urban area in accordance with the law.
In addition, the city has ordered the Department of Tourism to continue to develop a domestic tourism stimulus programme to help the hard-hit sector to recover.
The city also plans to provide another financial support package, especially for businesses that have suspended operations due to the impact of the second COVID-19 outbreak.
The city will issue specific policies to help enterprises or industries heavily affected such as restaurants, hotels, and transport and tourism-related services, according to Phong.
More than 21,000 businesses in the city have suspended operations and laid off a large number of employees.
In addition, the city will this month complete a project to adjust the rate of state budget retained for the city, as well as the plans to establish the new Thủ Đức City in the city's eastern part, and develop HCM City into an international financial hub.
Lê Thị Huỳnh Mai, director of the city Department of Planning and Investment, said the total retail sales of goods and service revenue during the period reached about VNĐ827 trillion, down 3.3 per cent from the same period last year, while total budget revenue was more than VNĐ216.7 trillion, down 17.37 per cent over the same period. Total budget expenditures were VNĐ49.264 trillion.
Mai said: “Despite the resurgence of the pandemic, the HCM City economy is gradually recovering and increasing rapidly in the fourth quarter of 2020.”
The city’s industrial production index in the first eight months increased by 2.1 per cent over the same period last year.
In addition, total registered capital and additional capital of newly established enterprises reached nearly VNĐ850 trillion, up 31.3 per cent over the same period. — VNS