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HCM City: disbursement for public investment projects moving at snail’s pace

The disbursement rate for public investment capital in HCM City had reached only 26 percent as of the end of July. About 100 projects had a disbursement rate of zero.

The total disbursed capital by that time had reached VND8.467 trillion, a small figure compared with the total capital allocated (VND31.943 trillion). Analysts say that, compared with the average disbursement rate of the whole country, the city is one month behind other localities.

Nguyen Hoang Hai, director of the State Treasury in HCM City, recently spoke at a meeting about socio-economic development in July and the first seven months of the year.

The slow disbursement has mostly occurred at projects with large investment capital of over VND200 billion. Some projects have had very low disbursement rates, below 10 percent. The Project Management Board of the Civil and Industrial Construction Works is the agency with the highest number of slowly disbursed projects.

Some projects had a disbursement rate of zero percent. The project on building a new children’s hospital, capitalized at VND1 trillion, is an example. Because of problems in paperwork, money has not been disbursed, though the hospital opened in March 2022.

The projects on technical infrastructure for the Tan Kien – Binh Chanh healthcare cluster, and Pham Ngoc Thach Medicine University are facing the same problem. Also, the capital (VND350 billion) for the city’s planning exhibition center (the investor is the HCM City Planning Department) has not been disbursed.

Other projects that have had low disbursement rates of below 10 percent include the underpass at Nguyen Van Linh - Nguyen Huu Tho intersection (investment capital is VND200 billion, but only VND9.3 billion, or 5 percent, has been disbursed); An Phu intersection (VND375 billion, VND4 billion, 4 percent disbursed); urban sanitation and environment project Phase II (VND1.990 trillion, VND73 billion, 4 percent disbursed); infrastructure construction and environmental improvement of Tham Luong - Ben Ca -Nuoc Len canal (VND1.039 trillion, VND327 million, 0.03 percent disbursed) and Metro Line 2 Ben Thanh - Tham Luong project (VND394 billion, VND28 billion, 7 percent disbursed).

Le Truong Hai Hieu, head of the HCM City People’s Council’s economics and budget committee, said the disbursement rate of 26 percent was too low. The goal is 95 percent for the year.

The HCM City People’s Council estimated that as many as 100 projects have a disbursement rate of zero, and 12 other projects have rates of below 10 percent.

Hieu said the city’s people’s committee and departments need to work with investors to solve problems, from site clearance to procedures to project implementation.

“It’s really worrying,” said City Mayor Phan Van Mai, adding that slow public investment will affect socio-economic development.

Tran Chung

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