City needs technology for socio economic growth

At the second meeting of the seventh session of the People’s Council on December 5, deputies discussed the 29 targets set for the 2012 socio eco development plan and application of technology for sustainable growth.

The City allocates a meager two percent towards modern technology, said participants at the meeting. S

o far the City has paid little or no heed to investments in modern technology, which is important for the socio eco development of the City, said Huynh Cong Hung. Technology is lagging far behind and lack of it will sabotage socio economic growth.

Phan Minh Tan, director of the HCMC Department of Science and Technology, said many scientists do not want to do research projects as they have to make balance sheets and management of their work.

Tan said as per the HCMC People’s Committee regulations, state-run enterprises have to set up a fund for scientific researches; yet there are only 25 enterprises with total investment of VND336 billion (US$16,000,000) that have allocated VND110 billion ($5,280,000) on upgrading equipment. The amount is modest compared to the urgent need of advanced technology.

In context of the socio eco growth in the City, investment in the all important field of technology has received little attention from leaders, Tan said. His department will petition the People’s Committee to be more determined and force enterprises to set up a fund for technology research.

Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, chairwoman of the People’s Council of HCMC, asked for checks on enterprises that do not raise the fund because of low awareness of the fund’s benefits or tedious paperwork formalities--a barrier along the way.

Le Manh Ha, vice chairman of the HCMC People's Committee, said City leaders have concentrated on technological activities such as payment for new technological products, recruitment of scientists studying in oversea countries, purchasing technological products and focusing on development of electronic and microchip technologies.

Participants also pointed out the unreasonable socio economic growth targets, with one being the housing sector. Deputy To Thi Bich Chau said the City has failed to achieve the 2012 target, yet the area per person has been increased to 16.4 sq.m.

Deputy Lam Thieu Quan said that at last year’s meeting, it was announced that the unemployment figure was 4.9 percent, yet this year so many people are out of work.

In 2013, it is forecast that the situation will become more severe and the criteria will decrease to 4.8 percent. Quan wondered whether HCMC could achieve this target and what measures it will take to achieve this.

Quan also expressed surprise that there was no criteria for cultural development, as the City can be poor but cannot be short of culture. The HCMC People’s Council should consider allocating an amount for cultural activities.

Dao Thi Huong Lan, director of the Department of Finance, said the City has allocated more funds for healthcare and preventive medicine sector. For instance, the Ministry of Finance recently allocated VND105,000 per person per year for healthcare but HCMC pays VND319,000 per person per year, three time higher than regulated.

During the afternoon session of the meeting, 10 resolutions were unanimously adopted by the People’s Council.

By V. Anh, Hong Hiep - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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