Illustrative photo (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - HCM City is struggling to seek funds for projects in seven breakthrough programmes because of budget constraints, officials said at a recent meeting in the city. 

Reducing budget spending and mobilising investment from private resources were among the solutions discussed at a recent meeting. 
Vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen said the programmes were approved at the 10th meeting of the city’s Party Congress for the 2015-20 term.

However, allocation of funds for each programme has yet to be specified, he said. 

The members of the People’s Committee and Party Committee will discuss the matter and make a final decision by the end of the year.

Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Dinh La Thang said the city would need about 1 quadrillion VND (45 billion USD) to carry out the projects. However, the figure might increase after discussion with departments and agencies, he said.

As for the overall general budget, the city has proposed that it should be allowed to keep 21 percent of its total budget collection instead of 18 percent, which was recently required by the central Government. The city is currently able to keep 23 percent.

Because it is a centrally governed city, HCM City must give a certain percentage of its revenue to the central government. The city is expected to collect 360 trillion VND (16.2 billion USD) worth of revenue in 2017. 

Vo Van Hoan, head of the Office of the People’s Committee, said the city must carefully study the list of projects in the breakthrough programmes calling for investment because ODA loans were less available than before. ODA loans are now usually short term and with high interest rates, he added.

He said that HCM City should call for investment from all private resources, especially in the fields of health and education.

Many projects that use city funds have been inefficient, while projects funded with private capital are more cost-effective, Hoan added. 

Vice Chairman Tuyen urged departments and agencies to report to the Department of Planning and Investment about the projects’ investment needs and how to mobilise funds. 

The People’s Committee and Party Committee are expected to issue resolutions for project implementation in the seven breakthrough programmes early next year. 

Earlier, deputies of the 10th meeting of the municipal Party Congress approved the seven breakthrough programmes for human resource development, administrative reform, growth quality, competitiveness improvement, traffic congestion and flooding control, and cityscape rehabilitation.

The programmes will benefit local residents and businesses because they deal with pressing issues like flooding, traffic congestion, seawater intrusion, air pollution and complex bureaucracy.-VNA