|Illustrative photo (Source: VOV)
According to Deputy Finance Minister Tran Van Hieu, an estimated VND134.494 trillion (US$5.78 billion) were disbursed over the first seven months of this year, or 31.32 per cent of the target set by the National Assembly (NA). This is the lowest level seen during the same period in recent years.
The disbursement of domestic capital stood at a low rate in the reviewed period, reaching only 35 per cent of the NA-assigned plan. In addition, the disbursement rate of foreign loans remained extremely low, at 8.6 per cent of the annual figure.
Deputy Minister Hieu blamed the alarmingly slow public investment disbursement for the tardiness of ministries, branches, and localities in directing the implementation of projects and bidding packages in accordance with legal regulations related to bidding, construction, and land use.
During a recent meeting with representatives from ministries, sectors, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue criticized the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) for its tardiness in updating the implementation of public investment disbursement, making proposals to the Prime Minister regarding the allocation of public investment capital, and reporting the reasons for the delay in capital allocation.
Deputy PM Hue also asked the MPI to send the Prime Minister a plan regarding the allocation of all VND35 trillion (US$1.50 billion) which have yet to be disbursed this month.
The ministry was required to submit a scheme to the Prime Minister on canceling the allocation of public investment capital for ministries, sectors, localities, and project investors which have so far failed to make disbursements prior to September 30.
The Deputy PM also requested that the ministry review and adjust the public investment plan outlined for 2020 in order to meet the real demand of each ministry and sector.
He also assigned the Government Office draft an official document to be signed by the Prime Minister which aims to hasten the disbursement of public investment capital. The Government is expected to preside over a nationwide teleconference on the issue in mid-September.
Hoang Van Cuong, vice rector of the Hanoi-based National Economics University, said that the Law on Public Investment only prescribes principles on defining priority levels for investment projects, such as national key projects and those dedicated to enhancing the development of ethnic minority groups and poverty reduction.
Despite this, there have been no quantitative criteria set to determine the priority levels for public investment projects, Cuong said, urging the need to put forth criteria aimed to clarify which priority level would be given to each project.