HCMC needs breakthroughs to implement mechanisms, policies for development

The implementation of Resolution No.54/2017 of the National Assembly on piloting specific mechanisms and policies to develop Ho Chi Minh City with many difficulties in more than four years has left the city with lots of valuable experience. It is high time that HCMC needed frankly look back to prepare better for the proposal and implementation of new mechanisms and policies in the coming time.
HCMC needs breakthroughs to implement mechanisms, policies for development ảnh 1 Higher income encourages public officials and civil servants to stick with their jobs for a long time. (Photo: SGGP)
Advantages yet to be fully exploited

After being issued, Resolution No.54 has brought many expectations to create a breakthrough development for HCMC. The Resolution takes effect from January 2018 to the end of 2022, granting some specific mechanisms to HCMC with 18 contents in five areas, including land, investment, finance - State budget, authorization mechanism, and income of public officials and civil servants.

HCMC has focused on deploying 21 specific content and projects, with the first content being increasing income for public officials and civil servants. Although it has not been able to reach the maximum level of 1.8 times of the salary level by grade, this policy is consistent with the actual productivity of workers in HCMC - 2.7 times higher than the national average – which has improved life and encouraged public officials and civil servants to stick with their jobs for a long time.

HCMC has also performed some tasks, such as issuing decisions on investment policy in five group-A projects using the city budget with a total investment capital of more than VND12.9 trillion; approving 32 projects to change the use purpose of rice land with an area of 10 hectares or more. The collection of environmental protection fees for industrial wastewater has had a significant impact on environmental protection awareness and the behavior of organizations and individuals in the area. HCMC also successfully issued VND2.8 trillion of local government bonds. The People's Committee of HCMC and the Chairman of the HCMC People's Committee also authorized 85 jobs for departments, district People's Committees, and heads of units.

Besides some positive results, most of the remaining specific mechanisms and policies, including the financial management mechanism in Resolution 54 to increase HCMC's revenue, have not been taken advantage of. That is the source of income from equitization and divestment of State-owned enterprises. HCMC has not gained from the policy of allowing to enjoy 50 percent of public property auction proceeds of the central authority in the area. Regarding the attraction of experts and scientists, the Resolution of the People's Council of HCMC has been made, and the People's Committee of HCMC has also had a decision to implement it. However, the results are still limited, and there are no more motivating solutions to attract experts and scientists.

"In the implementation process, Ho Chi Minh City has seen that there are still many things that have not been done, maybe even not taking advantage of 50 percent of the mechanism set out in Resolution No.54," the People's Committee of HCMC acknowledged. At the sixth plenary session of the 10th tenure of HCMC People's Council taking place on July 6, Vice Chairwoman of the People's Committee of HCMC Phan Thi Thang informed that the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has been actively taking steps to propose the National Assembly to issue a new Resolution to replace Resolution No.54. The city expects that it can be submitted to the NA for promulgation by the end of 2022.

More mechanisms needed to support HCMC

“Why does HCMC have Resolution No.54, but its development is still limited? It is because resources have not increased much. The implementation of the Resolution in the first two years was drastic, but it was mainly preparatory work. After that, the city had to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic in two years, which greatly affected the results of the implementation of Resolution 54," said NA deputy Nguyen Thien Nhan, former Politburo member, and former Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, at the monitoring meeting of the HCMC NA deputies delegation with the municipal People's Committee on the recent implementation of Resolution No.54.

Assoc. Prof.-Dr. Tran Hoang Ngan, Director of the HCMC Institute for Development Studies, said that Resolution No.54 gave HCMC five years to implement, but it already took the city two years to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the most important specific mechanism and policy under Resolution No.54 is the financial mechanism to generate revenue for the development of HCMC, but all major revenue sources face difficulties. Equitization and divestment of State capital are still entangled, and guidance from the Central government remains sluggish. Resolution No.54 allows HCMC to enjoy 50 percent of the proceeds from the sale of public assets attached to land managed by Central units. Still, the units are also reluctant to cooperate.

It requires drastic direction from the Prime Minister to urge the Central agencies to hand over assets, and, together with HCMC, auction to recover capital to the State. Besides, the People's Council of HCMC and the HCMC NA deputies delegation must monitor and report to request Central agencies to cooperate. By doing this, HCMC will receive 50 percent to invest in infrastructure, and more importantly, not to waste assets, pollute the environment, and cause frustration among people," said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Hoang Ngan. He added that besides the resolution on specific mechanisms and policies, more mechanisms are needed to support HCMC.

Assoc. Prof.-Dr. Tran Hoang Ngan said that the asynchrony of regulations caused public officials and civil servants to have certain apprehensions in performing their duties. Recently, the Politburo has concluded 14 on the policy of encouraging and protecting dynamic and creative public officials for the public interest. From a local perspective, HCMC needs to concretize Conclusion No.14 with specific regulations to create assurance for dynamic and creative public officials and civil servants for the public interest.

Chairing and participating in the monitoring meetings of the People's Committee of HCMC on the implementation of Resolution No.54, Chairwoman of the HCMC People's Council Nguyen Thi Le further acknowledged the issues from a subjective perspective. The People's Committee of HCMC has not prepared well for projects, so after the HCMC People's Council approved the investment policy, the following processes, such as land acquisition, investor selection, and bidding, were carried out slowly. The HCMC People's Committee has not yet resolutely adjusted and canceled projects that are not implemented out of the annual land-use plan. This requires analyzing and determining the causes and responsibilities of relevant individuals and units to serve as a basis for building new mechanisms and policies for the development of the city.

At the same time, to prevent difficulties like when implementing Resolution No.54 from happening again, the process of researching and developing a new resolution requires the preparation of plans, solutions, specific roadmaps, and resources to implement them, thereby, making the most of new mechanisms and policies.

Other news