Construction of Nguyễn Văn Linh-Nguyễn Hữu Thọ underground tunnel in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HCM City in 2021 met challenges in labour resources, supply of raw materials and an increase in unexpected costs, affecting the results of disbursement of public investment. Director of HCM City Department of Planning and Investment Lê Thị Huỳnh Mai recently had a discussion with Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper on solutions to promote disbursement of public investment capital in the near future.
Even though the pandemic is an objective reason of the slow disbursement of projects, are there any other issues that need to be clarified in time to come?
The amount of capital in 2021 as of December 31 (the legal disbursement deadline is January 31 of next year) has only reached VNĐ16.589 trillion out of the total allocated capital of VNĐ32.262 trillion, equivalent to 51.4 per cent.
Compared to previous years, disbursement results in 2021 are low. Several subjective limitations include confusion when it comes to unprecedented pandemics; allocation of human resources to support pandemic prevention and control; and inadequate regulations on public investment, land, construction, and bidding procedures among others.
What are some main solutions to focus on in 2022?
The first is to speed up the implementation of compensation, support and resettlement for people living in the areas of projects with land acquisition, in order to hand over project sites to investors for implementation on time.
The second is to accelerate the process of project implementation. Authorities must efficiently direct and supervise investors on the implementation of ongoing projects, closely follow and urge contractors to speed up the progress, complete necessary payment and disbursement of capital to contractors and quickly take the initiatives to remove difficulties in each stage of construction to ensure the project progress.
Another solution is to strengthen inspection of disbursement process. Heads of managing units must directly guide the disbursement of public investment capital of their agencies and take full responsibility for that.
Based on specific situation of investors and progress of disbursement of the public investment plan in 2022, the HCM City Department of Planning and Investment will advise the city People's Committee to develop a plan to transfer capital from low-disbursed projects to projects with high potential of disbursement during the year.
What about specific solutions to mobilise social resources to invest in the city's development?
The city has focused solutions to seek investment resources and promote privatisation. It is crucial to strengthen the ability to balance investment capital of the city budget, work on the budget allocation rate for HCM City in the period of 2022-25, review and assess the state of budget revenue and expenditure, and issue local government bonds to create more capital for investment.
Relevant authorities should efficiently mobilise investment resources from the city's public land fund and public assets, review the public land fund in case there is no need to continue using it, develop an auction plan, strengthen land management and ensure the right use of land in accordance with the planning.
Projects with socialisation potential should be reviewed and called for private investment. Finally, it is important to mobilise investment resources through the equitisation of State-owned enterprises.
The arrangement of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and divestment of State capital from the SOEs can help mobilise huge capital sources but they have been “almost frozen” for a long time. Will the city consider unlocking these resources?
In the future, the city will continue to implement solutions to mobilise investment resources through the equitisation of SOEs and seek the Prime Minister’s approval to soon issue a decision approving the list of enterprises to be equitised in the 2021-25 period. Relevant authorities will formulate and promulgate a plan to arrange and equitise enterprises with 100 per cent State capital in the city according to the Prime Minister's Decision No. 22/2021/QD-TTg.
Specifically, the city will continue to propose to the Prime Minister to soon approve two projects: "A plan to restructure enterprises with 100 per cent State-owned capital in the city between 2021 and 2025" and "Restructuring SOEs for the 2021-25 period" to serve as a basis for the arrangement and equitisation of SOEs managed by the city, divestment of State capital in State-owned joint stock companies to generate revenue for necessary development. — VNS