HCMC striving to accelerate land compensation via public investment disbursement

Disbursing public investment is one key mission of HCMC. Yet, this disbursement rate, especially for land compensation for infrastructure projects, has not been as expected.
Workers are renovating Tham Luong – Ben Cat – Nuoc Len Canals (Photo: SGGP)

Workers are renovating Tham Luong – Ben Cat – Nuoc Len Canals (Photo: SGGP)

The HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment informed that until September 13, 2023, HCMC was allocated over VND21 trillion (US$863 million) for land compensation purposes in 155 projects. Until now, only VND7.6 trillion ($312 million) has been successfully distributed, accounting for 36 percent. Adding to that is the sum of VND5.7 trillion ($234 million) for 116 projects started in 2022. In total, for the two years, the disbursement percentage is 43 percent of the target.

With this speed, the localities in HCMC this year can only fulfill the 2022 disbursement goals, while new projects in 2023 will have to be continued next year. Particularly, among the 155 projects this year, 30 can keep up with the disbursement plan, 24 are behind schedule, and 101 are not yet begun. Thu Duc City is leading the third group with 26 not-kick-off projects, followed by Cu Chi District and Binh Chanh District with 11 and 12 projects respectively.

The HCMC Natural Resources and Environment Department attributed this tardiness to imprecision in preparing the cost estimate for land clearance and resettlement of the projects. This leads to a capital surplus unable to disburse after the People’s Committees of those localities have completed necessary dossiers for both land compensation and resettlement. Among the 155 projects above, 90 have had their land price adjustment coefficients approved. The coefficients of the rest have not been submitted for approval.

Another problem comes from insufficient or incapable human resources to handle the land compensation task. Meanwhile, the leaders of the concerned localities have not played their management role in handling issues within their power, especially in verifying the origin of the retrieved land. The final obstacle comes from ineffective propaganda to related households for consensus.

With 271 projects that need nearly VND27 trillion ($1.1 billion) of land compensation in 2023, HCMC receive a public investment of about VND68.5 trillion ($2.81 billion). However, until August, only 29 percent was disbursed.

Despite instruction and urging of the city leaders, the tardy units are still unable to complete this task. Therefore, the city has decided to use public investment disbursement proportions as one criterion to evaluate the performance of both locality leaders and investors. Those with a disbursement rate of under 90 percent due to subjective problems are not classified as excellent completion of set targets.

The section of Ring Road No.3 passing Long Binh Ward in Thu Duc City is under construction (Photo: SGGP)

The section of Ring Road No.3 passing Long Binh Ward in Thu Duc City is under construction (Photo: SGGP)

To reach the disbursement rate of 95 percent as directed by the HCMC People’s Committee, the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment proposed that last year’s projects with approval on land price adjustment coefficients should be quickly prepared and propagandized to the public for cooperation in land compensation and resettlement. They must be completed this year to avoid unwanted complaints or interest-rate-related problems.

Those approved in 2023 should come next in the preparation and land clearance, land compensation decision issuance. The 13 projects with a large compensation amount of over VND300 billion ($12.3 million) and a total capital of more than VND17.4 trillion ($715 million) continue their own land compensation distribution process and has the retrieved land handed over to the investors for construction.

In 2023, HCMC must focus on land clearance for the following major projects of Ring Road No.3 passing Thu Duc City (with the compensation volume of VND6.54 trillion - $268.8 million), Cu Chi District (with VND1.7 trillion - $70 million), Hoc Mon District (with VND1.6 trillion - $65.8 million), Binh Chanh District (with VND1.4 trillion - $57.5 million); Duong Quang Ham Street in Go Vap District (with VND1.75 trillion - $71.9 million); Lo Lu Street in Thu Duc City (with VND600 billion - $24.7 million); Xom Cui Canal in District 8 (with VND412 billion - $16.9 million); Tham Luong – Ben Cat – Nuoc Len Canals – second stage (with VND600 billion - $24.7 million).

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