Construction on the urban railway project connecting Nhổn and Hà Nội train station. VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng
HÀ NỘI The Ministry of Planning and Investment has proposed withholding investment next year for projects that had been slow to disburse their allocated funding in 2019.
According to the proposal, projects that had disbursed less than 50 per cent of their assigned public investment as of November 30 this year would not be eligible for continued funding for next year.
According to the General Statistics Office, total public investment disbursement in the first 11 months of this year reached VNĐ299 trillion (US$13 billion), equivalent to 78.6 per cent of the annual target and an increase of 5.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.
However, the disbursement rate was assessed to have remained low.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment blamed the delays on a lack of proper planning and direction from ministries and local authorities.
Compensation for land clearance lacked transparency, leading to public complaints and delays.
Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể recently said most projects on the North-South Expressway had been delayed due to slow land compensation payments.
Nguyễn Trung Hoàng, vice chairman of the People’s Committee of Trà Vinh Province, one of the localities that recorded the slowest investment disbursement, said too many projects had been assigned to a single contractor, leading to overloading.
The province had disbursed only 45 per cent (about VNĐ2 trillion) of its total public investment for the year.
According to Đỗ Thành Trung, deputy head of the Department of National Economic Issues at the Ministry of Planning and Investment, this year’s disbursement of Government bonds and Official Development Assistance had been slower than last year due to changing mid-term financial plans and other adjustments.
Major projects that took up almost 50 per cent of Government bonds this year such as the North-South Expressway, Long Thành International Airport and other transport infrastructure had recorded slow disbursement, affecting the allocation process for the whole country.
To accelerate the process with one month of the year left, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has ordered agencies to review and complete a legal framework on investment management, and to lift barriers to facilitate disbursement.
Public investment disbursement must be accelerated without wastefulness or loss. There was no room for corruption or group benefits, the PM highlighted.
The Government has instructed ministries, sectors and localities to impose strict punishments on individuals and organisations which delayed projects or tried to siphon off the top.
Weak officials who abused their power to direct public investment management and bidding must be replaced, he said.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment has proposed four solutions to accelerate the allocation, including holding heads of ministries, sectors and localities responsible for delays.
Economic expert Vũ Đình Ánh told Vietnam News Agency that low-efficiency projects where investment procedures had not been set should not receive any more funding.
Investment should focus on efficient projects where we could speed up disbursement ahead of schedule to put them into operation, he said.
According to Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng, the revised Law on Investment would facilitate public investment disbursement.
In 2020 when the new law takes effect, the improvements might not be immediately clear, but in 2021 we will start to see positive changes, he said. VNS