Over half of foreign-sourced loans remain undisbursed as year-end nears: Official hinh anh 1At the conference (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
More than 50 percent of this year’s revised plan for public investment sourced from foreign concessional loans and official development assistance (ODA) funds has been left undisbursed as the year’s end approaches, Deputy Minister of Finance Tran Xuan Ha told a Hanoi conference on December 7.

Over 6.31 trillion VND worth of foreign concessional loans and ODA funds were disbursed in the first 11 months of 2020, accounting for 45.51 percent of the annual goal, which was revised down earlier in the year, Ha said at the conference reviewing the 11-month disbursement of foreign-sourced public investment.

Among the underperformers are the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said Hoang Hai, deputy director general of the Ministry of Finance’s Debt Management and External Finance Department. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, which pledged to fully disburse these sources of financing this year, are doing no better, Hai said.

As of November 30, the MARD had disbursed 763 billion VND worth of foreign loans, representing 41.7 percent of the already-revised plan of 1.83 trillion VND for 2020, said Vu Thanh Liem from the ministry.

The MARD expects to disburse around 90-94 percent of the total this year, largely due to a lack of corresponding funds and the historic flooding striking central Vietnam in October and November, causing delays in many projects’ progress.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport is among the best performers, disbursing close to 4.65 billion VND, or 75 percent of the plan, as of November 24, as the ministry has significantly cut the time required for handling procedures and, more importantly, assigned specific tasks and responsibilities to each staff member, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said.

Foreign sponsors in some cases have also played a role in slowing down projects, Hai said, adding that there were lengthy delays in the issuance of “no objection” letters from foreign sponsors to approve procurement or the appointment of consulting firms.

To enable faster disbursement, the Ministry of Finance proposed that priority be given to accelerating the progress of projects that end in 2020 or 2021. It also urged other ministries, governmental agencies, and investors to speed up the completion of procedures in terms of investment and construction licensing, residential resettlement, and site clearance for projects.

It is working with the Ministry of Justice and relevant agencies to revise Decree No 97/2018/ND-CP dated June 30, 2018 regarding the on-lending of government ODA and foreign concessional loans in a way that simplifies on-lending procedures and verification./.