Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has called for faster disbursement of Official Development Assistance (ODA) capital and concessional loans following slow disbursement in the first half of 2017.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment reported that from 1993, when Việt Nam repaired relations with international sponsors, to June 2017, the country inked agreements on non-refundable loans and aid worth some $82.61 billion.
As of the end of June 2017, 810 programmes and projects were being implemented with total undisbursed capital of about $21.17 billion. The sum will be disbursed from now through 2026 according to the agreements’ schedules, but most of the sum, $17.49 billion, is set to be disbursed between 2017 and 2020.
Total ODA capital and concessional loans able to be disbursed in 2017 is about $4.6 billion but only 33 per cent, or $1.5 billion, was disbursed in the year’s first half, according to the ministry.
Chairing a meeting with ministries, sectors and localities in Hà Nội on Tuesday, PM Phúc said all of the signed ODA capital and concessional loans must be disbursed on schedule, adding that each project owner must review their capacity and responsibility and withdraw or seek other funding sources if they realise their incompetence.
He instructed the Ministry of Planning and Investment to review ODA projects and prioritise projects that will be completed in 2017.
Besides obstacles relating to capacity of contractors, land clearance and management, the adjustment of cost estimates for projects and construction investment procedures should also be considered.
He asked ministries, agencies and localities to strictly supervise agencies that implement projects using ODA and concessional loans, particularly projects that end in 2017-18. They were asked to not extend project deadlines and limit increases of investment capital for subjective reasons.
All projects that exceed investment estimates must be examined to avoid prolonged projects, he stressed.
The PM entrusted the Ministry of Finance to work with agencies and donors to adjust loan conditions to raise competitiveness in choosing contractors to prevent appointing low-capacity contractors such as in the case of Cát Linh-Hà Đông urban railway project.
Regarding the adjustment of related policies and mechanisms, PM Phúc said it was essential to cut down on project approval procedures and empower ministries and agencies to transfer capital between projects in line with current regulations to implement each project. Capital disbursement priority will be given to projects scheduled to end in 2017.
He asked ministries and agencies to propose solutions to streamline procedures and costs for projects using ODA and concessional loans.
He told them to build plans on ODA and concessional loans attraction for 2018 and three-year financial plans.
Participants at the meeting pointed out shortcomings in the use and management of ODA capital and sought measures to address those problems.
They also discussed and agreed on plans for luring and using ODA and preferential loans in 2017-2020. — VNS