Lê Thị Huỳnh Mai, director of the HCM City Department of Planning and Investment. — Photo courtesy of the Department of Planning and Investment
HCM City targets achieving a 95 per cent disbursement rate for public investment this year amid the COVID-19 crisis, Lê Thị Huỳnh Mai, director of the city Department of Planning and Investment, has said. Mai talks about what the city plans to do to achieve its target.
Could you tell us about the public investment disbursement situation in HCM City?
Districts and sectors in HCM City have been requested to ensure that at least 80 per cent of this year’s public funds are disbursed by October 15 and to raise the rate to over 95 per cent by year end, as the city has committed to the Government.
City authorities last year spent VNĐ24.62 trillion (US$1.06 billion), or only 85 per cent of the allocation for public spending. Transport infrastructure was one of the areas with a low disbursement rate.
The city this year plans to allocate VNĐ41.691 trillion for public investment (VNĐ33.940 trillion from the city budget, and the rest from the central budget).
As of July 15, as much as VNĐ18.836 trillion ($809.4 million) had been disbursed, accounting for nearly 49 per cent of the set target, 2.5 times higher than the same period last year.
The disbursement funds are from State revenue (reciprocal capital) to implement projects worth hundreds of trillions of Vietnamese đồng mobilised from the private sector.
The investment that has been mobilised from BT (build-transfer) and ODA (official development assistance) projects is huge. Therefore, delays in construction progress will increase costs of the projects.
How will the city improve the management and disbursement of public investment funds?
Recently, a number of large projects have suffered delays, especially public investment projects. Therefore, the city has issued a directive on goals and solutions for speeding up disbursement for 2020.
Under the directive, the city will continue to adopt drastic measures to accelerate public investment disbursement as authorities are considering new procedures that will improve the management and disbursement of public investment funds.
The city will also try to complete the socio-economic development plan for 2021-23 and a medium-term investment plan to speed up disbursement for large projects, removing bottlenecks so it can fulfill its socio-economic plan for the year, as requested by the Prime Minister.
The city will focus resources on key projects such as transport, education and healthcare.
In addition, the city will also address other problems, especially site clearance, one of the most common issues related to disbursement of public investment capital.
What specifically will the city do to ensure the target of public investment disbursement this year?
The Department of Planning and Investment has proposed a number of solutions to more effectively disburse public investment funds, with specific instructions.
Officials and investors will be expected to compile a list of important projects, and a leader will then be assigned to each of them to oversee their progress and solve any difficulties.
Organisations and individuals intentionally interfering and slowing down disbursement progress will be dealt with, while incompetent and inefficient officials will be replaced.
The standing People’s Committee will organise briefings with developers on the implementation of projects and disbursement of public investment plans every two weeks.
The disbursement result will be one of the bases for evaluating the level of completion of the tasks of leaders of departments, industries, districts, and developers.
The city will also organise seminars to help inform governing bodies and developers about procedures related to the implementation of public investment projects.
How will the revised Public Investment Law help speed up disbursement of public investment?
The revised Public Investment Law came into effect on January 1, which includes regulations on the decentralisation of power and administrative procedures related to public investment projects and plans, such as the rights of provincial people’s councils and district-level people’s committees to grant licences to projects under their management.
This helps shorten the time and procedures for decisions on investment policies for Group A projects (the most important and largest-scale projects that use funds from the city budget). — VNS