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Public investment identified as urgent task for economic recovery: Gov’t
Ngoc Mai 13:12, 2022/05/23
The challenge would be huge for localities and Government agencies to fully disburse the public investment funds for this year.

The government’s task force groups are now working with provinces/cities and ministries to accelerate public investment, seen as an urgent task to ensure economic recovery.

 The construction of the Eastern North-South expressway, section Phan Thiet - Giau Day. Photo: Phuoc Tuan

Data from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) revealed the disbursement of public investment funds in the first five months of 2022 stood at a modest rate of 22.37%, of which the disbursement of domestic funds accounted for 23.53%, and that of foreign capital at 6.26%.

The MoF added 41 out of 51 Government ministries and 21 from 63 provinces/cities posted disbursement rates below 20%, including five ministries with no disbursement at all.

Meanwhile, localities pointed to unfavorable weather conditions, difficulties in site clearance or rising construction materials are among the major factors leading to the slow disbursement, not to mention complicated investment procedures in project implementation plans.

No pushing back

Last week, four Government taskforce groups led by deputy ministers of Pham Binh Minh, Le Minh Khai, Vu Duc Dam, and Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc held separate meetings with leaders of provinces/cities to assess their public investment performance and also solutions to speed up the process.

Given the public investment amount for this year at VND700 trillion (US$30.2 billion), an increase of VND200 trillion ($8.6 billion) against 2021, the challenge would be huge for localities and Government agencies to complete the task.

At the meetings, the heads of the task force groups called for local authorities to continue pushing for the completion of the site clearance process before project implementation, as well as review the operation of project management units.

In addition, leaders of ministries and provinces/cities should be directly responsible for the disbursement of public investment funds in 2022, and failure in realizing their respective goals would result in disciplinary measures.

Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc noted that 2022-2023 is a key period for socio-economic recovery, for which the pressure is high on localities to step up public investment.

“It is essential for public projects to complete on time for them to become key drivers for growth,” said Phoc, pointing out to risks of a high inflation rate.

This year, Hanoi has allocated VND51.07 trillion ($2.2 billion) for public investment, and the city remains determined to fully disburse the amount.

Among key measures, Hanoi’s authorities would continue to tighten supervision of projects’ schedules and address any concerns from contractors. 

“Hanoi aims to speed up the construction progress and public investment, identified as a major solution to spur economic growth and further attract investment capital to the city,” said Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Ngoc Anh in a recent meeting.

“This year, the city targets to realize all unfinished projects left from 2021 and those set for 2022 with high quality and efficiency,” Anh stressed.

For the 2021-2025 period, the city sets to earmark VND650 trillion ($28.4 billion) for the 2021-2025 public investment plan.

The priority order for investment would be aligned with the vision for the development of the transport sector and socio-economic infrastructure, namely the ring road 2.5, ring road 3, ring road 3.5, ring road 4; major bridge crossing the river (Vinh Tuy bridge Phase 2, Thuong Cat bridge); inter-provincial roads (national road 6, upgrading national road 32, national road 1A, 21B); and urban railway projects.

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