Public investment was a major driver for economic growth last year in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Public investment will focus on key national projects with important roles in enhancing regional links and creating new drivers and room for economic growth, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng has said.
Last year saw the highest public investment disbursement rate in 2016-20 as the Government identified public investment as a major driver for growth in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment estimated the public investment disbursement rate would reach more than 90 per cent of the plan as of the end January 31 (the deadline for disbursement of 2020 public investment), compared to 73.3 per cent of 2017, 66.8 per cent of 2018 and 67.46 per cent of 2019.
There were 17 ministries, central-level agencies and 17 localities with disbursement rates of more than 80 per cent as of December 31, 2020. However, 13 ministries and central-level agencies and five localities had disbursement rates below 60 per cent.
According to Nguyễn Mạnh Quyền, Deputy Chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee, the capital city disbursed about VNĐ40.7 trillion worth of public investment or 93 per cent of the plan.
HCM City disbursed VNĐ31.5 trillion of public investment in 2020, 1.7 times higher than 2019, Lê Thị Huỳnh Mai, Director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, said.
These figures showed that never before was public investment disbursement as quick and strong as in 2020, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Trần Quốc Phương.
“It is public investment that drove GDP growth in 2020,” he said.
Phương pointed out that total social investment accounted for 34 per cent of GDP and public investment 25 per cent of the total social investment, meaning public investment made up about 6-7 per cent of GDP.
“Taking into account the impacts of public investment, public investment plays a really important role in growth,” Phương said.
Despite this progress, speeding up the disbursement of public investment remains a priority in 2021.
Phương said that the Law on Public Investment No 39/2019/QH14 which took effect from the beginning of this year would help tighten management of the entire process of public investment. In addition, the decentralisation of management would also be enhanced together with increasing accountabilities for higher efficiency of public investment.
With the new regulations, plans for public investment would also be more accurate and practical, Phương said.
Sums which were failed to be disbursed would be deducted from the medium-term public investment plan, Phương said.
There were always differences between plans and real implementation but “don’t let the gap be too big,” Phương said.
In 2021, the ministry will regularly update about the progress of public investment disbursement to give a timely push to the progress, he added. — VNS