Minister of FInance Ho Duc Phoc

He cited the chicken and egg theory to discuss problems of the Law on Public Investment, stressing that this is the reason behind slow disbursement of public investment capital.

The Law on Public Investment stipulates that projects must be approved before October 30 each year to be allocated public investment capital. Once projects are approved for capital borrowing, they are set up and designed.

When investors are allowed to borrow capital, it takes them at least a year to set up the project and another year for site clearance. In many cases, disbursement cannot be carried out after two years. This is because under the law, compensation for site clearance is part of investment projects. 

The Finance Minister suggested separating compensation for site clearance into a sub-project, which should be completed before the investment project. 

He cited opinions of many National Assembly deputies as saying that agencies have to get money to repair construction works such as housing areas, roads and cars under the rules of the Law on Public Investment. 

“As such, a hospital will have to set up an investment project if they need to repair just one light bulb,” he said.

“We have proposed that repair of architectural and housing works costing less than VND15 billion should not have to follow procedures stipulated by the Public Investment Law,” Minister Phoc said.

Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat said that 10 years ago money for science and technology activities was mostly from the state budget, with 70-80 percent of the total investment. At present, this rate is around 50 percent. Regarding enterprise funds for science and technology, only big groups like Viettel, PetroVietnam and the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) have large funds.

“Almost no foreign-invested enterprise has such a fund, which shows that encouraging the creation of these funds is not sufficiently attractive,” Dat said.

Thu Hang