Director of the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment Le Thi Huynh Mai
Answering how leaders of Ho Chi Minh City see and take responsibility for the low public investment disbursement here last year, Director Le Thi Huynh Mai first reported that the city was calculated to distribute over VND25.5 trillion (US$1.09 billion) in 2022, accounting for 68 percent of the planned target. This was a rise of VND5.7 trillion ($243 million) or 6.1 percent compared to 2021.
However, this figure is still much lower than the target because of both subjective and objective reasons coming from the troublesome national economic health. The Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee and she herself as well as leaders of related state units are classified as unsuccessfully completing the tasks of 2022. They have held a meeting to discuss current limits, difficulties, and feasible solutions for better uses of public investment in 2023.
This year is considered the key in the medium-term public investment plan of the 2021-2025 period, and the Prime Minister has allocated over VND70 trillion ($2.98 billion) to HCMC, nearly a double of the one in 2022. This means both a great challenge in administrating and implementing public investment projects in the city as well as a valuable chance for the city to improve its infrastructure for further sustainable economic growth, which will in turn help to complete the goals set in the 11th Congress of HCMC Party Committee.
The HCMC Planning and Investment Department has accordingly proposed various solution groups, including those in the fields of institution and legal regulations, administrative reform and management, clear regulation on the responsibility of governing units and investors in each specific stage of projects.
One of the main reasons of tardiness in public investment disbursement is trouble in land clearance. Aware of this, Director Mai shared that land compensation for all projects in the medium-term plan has been available for distribution so that this task can be successfully finished in 2023. This will allow construction works to begin and complete in the following years and ensure the completion of the city’s medium-term public investment plan.
The HCMC Planning and Investment Department is the leader in this land compensation delivery task and will hold regular meetings with related agencies to timely address any possible issues and avoid lateness in submitting compensation rate reports for appraisal and approval, leading to delays in money distribution.
The People’s Committees of all districts and Thu Duc City are asked to accelerate the preparation of such reports and resettlement plans so that corresponding capital can be allocated promptly to fulfill the tasks.
Explaining more about the leading role of the HCMC Planning and Investment Department in carrying out proposed solutions, the Director stressed that all of them clearly state specific accountabilities of each management unit and investor along with a clear progress and a focus on the responsibility of the unit leader. These will make public investment disbursement this year higher as to real amount and proportion.
Her Department, being a professional unit, is going to be the consultant on action programs to boost this capital distribution and the proposal of the municipal People’s Committee to HCMC People’s Council regarding assigning the authority to the former in making decisions or adjustments about investment policies for Group-C projects, in adjusting regulations on tasks and power to carry out public investment projects and programs of HCMC.
The Department will also advise on the increase in the maximum limit in the medium-term plan in order to raise the money allocation from mobilized capitals for urgent and necessary projects while flexibly adjust capitals among projects and investors for the best use of these amounts.
According to Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Phan Van Mai, in 2023, HCMC is going to focus on public investment disbursement. Any projects already having their capital allocated must start the work at the end of February at the latest so that the money can be completely distributed at the end of the year. If such an implementation plan cannot be finished by July, the allocated amount will be transferred to other projects.
Regarding other projects in the standby list, the HCMC Planning and Investment Department is asked to cooperate with related agencies to prepare corresponding documents. In March 2023, HCMC People’s Council is proposed to host a seminar on more capital allocation for the first half of the year. Meanwhile, the three taskforces on premises, large-capital projects, and ODA projects still continue their operation.