HCM City public spending remains too low, hindering economic recovery

August, 05/2022 - 18:05
HCM City’s public spending was too low in the first seven months of 2022, hindering its economic recovery from a slowdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, a city official said.
Phan Văn Mãi, chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, speaks at a meeting on Thursday to review the city’s socio-economic development in the first seven months of 2022. VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY — HCM City’s public spending was too low in the first seven months of 2022, hindering its economic recovery from a slowdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, a city official said.

Speaking at a meeting on Thursday, Phan Văn Mãi, chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said the city has faced multiple challenges, including slow disbursement of public investment, high inflation and complicated administrative procedures.

The tardy public investment disbursement has caused major public projects to be postponed, according to Mãi, who attributed the tardiness to complicated administrative procedures.

According to a report from the city administration, as of the end of July, the city’s total public investment disbursement reached more than VNĐ8.4 trillion, accounting for only 26 per cent of the year’s target.

The city will need to speed up disbursement of public investment, especially in three national programmes: poverty alleviation, new rural area development and socio-economic development of ethnic minority and mountainous areas.

It will also need to speed up the progress of major projects such as metro routes, Ring Road No. 3, and invest more in roads connecting sea ports and airports.

“It is vital to focus on stabilising the macro-economy and controlling inflation to ensure economic recovery in the second half of the year and the supply of energy, food and the essential needs of the residents,” he said.

Lê Thị Huỳnh Mai, director of the Department of Planning and Investment, said the city’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) in July increased by 3.14 per cent over the same period last year.

However, in the first seven months, the CPI only increased by 2.54 per cent, which is basically stable compared to the same periods from 2018 to 2021, she added.

In the first seven months, imports - exports increased by 14.8 per cent year-on-year, of which exports increased by 16.1 per cent and imports by 13.6 per cent, with the trade surplus reaching US$764 million.

Phạm Thị Hồng Hà, director of the Department of Finance, said total State budget revenue reached VNĐ283 trillion in the first seven months, or 73.2 per cent of the year’s target and up 20 per cent year-on-year.

Its Index of Industrial Production rose by 7.7 per cent year-on-year in the first seven months.

Total retail sales of consumer goods and services increased by 16 per cent year-on-year in the first seven months.

The tourism sector enjoyed a strong recovery with the number of domestic visitors to the city surging 71.73 per cent year-on-year in the first seven months.

At a meeting last week, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính warned HCM City of the multiple challenges it faced ahead, urging the city to seek drastic measures to address them to ensure a growth rate of 6-6.5 per cent this year.

The PM ordered that to speed up recovery, the city must continue to support businesses while ensuring safety, cutting production costs, renovating technology, and restoring production post-pandemic.

It will need to continue to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and other diseases such as dengue fever, hand, foot and mouth disease and monkeypox.

It will also need to develop high-quality human resources, and promote digital transformation to build a digital government, digital economy, and smart city. — VNS

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