HCM City seeks additional 5 billion USD worth of public investment hinh anh 1Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Phan Van Mai speaks at a meeting, discussing ways to hasten the disbursement of public investment. (Photo: VNA) 
HCM City (VNS/VNA) Ho Chi Minh City is seeking approval for an additional 120 trillion VND (5.13 billion USD) of public investment from the central government and the disbursement of previously approved public investment in order to speed up the progress of major public projects, said a municipal official.

Phan Van Mai, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said the city would need 672 trillion VND of public investment for the 2020-2025 period but only 142 trillion VND was approved, or 21 % of what is needed, which is too low.

Mai said the city would also speed up disbursement of public investment, especially for major public projects.

It has established three working groups: one in charge of site clearance, one in charge of reviewing public projects with large investment but slow disbursement, and one in charge of reviewing challenges related to projects using ODA capital.

As of the end of July, the city’s total public investment disbursement reached more than 8.4 trillion VND, accounting for only 26% of the year’s target (32 trillion VND). About 100 public projects have not had funds disbursed for them, according to a report from the city administration.

For projects using official development assistance (ODA), disbursement reached only 8% in the first seven months, the report said.

The city’s total public investment disbursement last year accounted for only 61.3% of the year’s target, it added.

Public investment disbursement remains too slow, causing major public projects to be delayed for years, according to Mai, who attributed the tardiness to complicated administrative procedures, among other problems.

He said it was imperative to speed up the progress of major projects such as metro routes and Ring Road No. 3, and invest more in roads connecting sea ports and airports. 

The city aims for 95% of public investment to be disbursed this year, according to the official.

In addition, the city would seek private funds for public facilities such as schools, hospitals and cultural and sports centres through the equitisation of state-owned businesses.

It has proposed the central government allow it to attract private investment for such public projects.

The country’s public disbursement rate reached 35.5% of the year’s target plan in the first eight months, of which, domestic capital reached 41% and foreign capital 14%, according to a report of the Ministry of Finance.

Provinces with a high disbursement rate included Tien Giang (64%), Thai Binh (58%), Phu Tho (57%), Long An (55%) while other localities have low disbursement rate of less than 35%.

At a recent meeting to speed up public investment disbursement rates, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh ordered localities to remove any obstacles.

Nguyen Chi Dung, Minister of Planning and Investment, said the head of ministries and local agencies in charge of public projects would be responsible for any issues related to the projects’ disbursement rate./.