A view of the first metro line still under construction in HCM City. The city plans to speed up disbursement of public funds in the city. Photo vnexpress.net
HCM CITY — HCM City authorities plan to provide another support package for businesses affected by the pandemic, and aim to increase the disbursement rate of public funds to 95 per cent by the end of the year.
Speaking at a meeting last weekend, Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said the city is considering another support package, especially for businesses that have suspended operations due to the impact of the outbreak.
“The city will issue specific policies to help enterprises or industries heavily affected such as travel, restaurants, hotels, and transport and tourism-related services,” he said.
More than 21,000 businesses in the city have suspended operations and laid off a large number of employees, according to Phong.
In March, HCM City authorities approved a support package targeting poor families and 600,000 workers and teachers at private pre-schools who lost their jobs.
As of the end of June, HCM City had provided financial support worth a total of VNĐ560 billion (US$24.15 million) to more than 510,000 out of a total of 542,000 people affected by the pandemic.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has also approved a relief package worth over VNĐ62 trillion ($2.7 billion) to benefit around 20 million people nationwide, with a focus on workers who lost jobs and incomes and businesses affected by the pandemic.
According to city authorities, 90 per cent of 8,400 enterprises facing difficulties are eligible for the Government’s VNĐ62 trillion support package.
Disbursement of public funds
In a related matter, Phong said the city would speed up the disbursement of at least 80 per cent of the planned investment by October 15 in order to achieve the target of over 95 per cent of the plan by the year end.
The city this year plans to implement 1,643 public investment projects worth VNĐ42.1 trillion ($1,8 billioin), of which VNĐ33.94 trillion will be from the city budget and the rest from the central government budget, he said.
A number of large projects have suffered delays, especially public investment projects.
The city is considering new procedures that will improve the management and disbursement of public investment funds.
It will classify projects according to their importance, and assign officials to monitor their progress and remove barriers if necessary, Phong said.
The city will disburse capital for eligible projects within four working days and produce reports about challenges facing disbursement every two weeks, which will help speed up payment for land compensation and resettlement, he added.
It also will increase the responsibility of leaders and investors involved in implementation of the projects.
“Officials and investors are expected to compile a list of key projects, and a leader will then be assigned to each of the projects to oversee progress and solve any issues,” Phong said.
Organisations and individuals that intentionally interfere and slow down disbursement progress will be held responsible, while incompetent and inefficient officials will be replaced.
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 inform governing bodies and developers about procedures related to the implementation of public investment projects.
HCM City last year spent VNĐ24.62 trillion ($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, which was largely attributed to long delays in payment of land compensation.
As of August 15, as much as VNĐ21 trillion had been disbursed, accounting for 50 per cent of the set target, almost 2.5 times higher than the same period last year.
Though the disbursement rate was higher than the same period last year, it failed to meet officials’ expectations, as disbursement is viewed as an important factor in boosting local economic growth.
The disbursement funds are from State revenue (reciprocal capital) used to implement projects worth hundreds of trillions of Vietnamese đồng mobilised from the private sector.
The investment mobilised from BT (build-transfer) and ODA (official development assistance) projects is huge. Therefore, delays in construction progress increase project costs. — VNS