Since the Law on Public Investment took effect in 2015, the government has ordered ministries, sectors, and localities to implement medium-term public investment plans. The National Assembly’s Resolution on medium- term plans for 2016-2020 period provides legal foundation for public investment management.
Results of public investment restructure
Over the past three years of restructuring public investment, Vietnam has obtained remarkable results. Social investment and public investment in particular have been more effective as evidenced by the rising number of completed projects. The proportion of public investment in total social investment has dropped to 34.5%.
Pham Tat Thang, a National Assembly deputy for Vinh Long province, attributed the improvement to government effort.
He said, “The government, ministries, sectors, and localities have effectively implemented the medium-term public investment plans set by the National Assembly. The goal of restructuring and improving public investment has been achieved. Public resources have been prioritized to national target programs, health care, education, training, and culture.”
Problems to be resolved
Despite encouraging results, the proportion of investment spending remains low and capital earmarked for the national target program meets only 53% of demands.
Vu Thi Luu Mai, a National Assembly deputy for Hanoi has suggested that scattered and unfinished investment should be stopped to make public investment restructuring a success.
“We must change the way resources are distributed and follow the order of priority stipulated by law. Project proposals need close coordination between localities to avoid the problem of too many small projects without an overriding one. The State should only invest in areas which other economic sectors cannot invest in,” she said.
The selection of projects for medium-term public investment is facing hurdles.
Nguyen Thanh Hien, a deputy of Nghe An province, said, “Capital planning remains slow and unstable, undermining project progress and investment capital use. Capital disbursement is also low, especially the disbursement of government bonds. Key national projects are not progressing as rapidly as expected. I call on the government to take stronger measures, clarify the responsibilities of parties involved in each phase of a public invested project, and create indexes to gauge project effectiveness.”
The National Assembly, the government, ministries, and localities will speed up the allocation of prioritized resources to disadvantaged areas and draw up lists of projects that effectively use Official Development Assistance (ODA).