Ho Chi Minh City’s Growth Set at 12% for 2006

Ho Chi Minh City Chairman Le Thanh Hai (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

The Ho Chi Minh People’s Council put the GDP growth put at 12% or more. Export revenue, not including crude oil exports, was set to rise by 17% over 2005. The target of total investment is over VND62 trillion, tax payment is over VND67.25 trillion, the rate of the poor (people earn less than VND6 million per year each) is under 6.8% of the city’s population.

Ho Chi Minh City expects to create 230,000 jobs in 2006, and to supply clean water for 86.5% of the population.

The meeting passed the nine areas for the People’s Committee to supervise in 2006. They include zoning and zoning management in construction; administrative reform; assistance for changing the structure of the economy and improving growth quality; and dealing with environmental pollution.

A view of part of District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

The meeting approved ten proposals from the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee. Accordingly, admission for the Cu Chi Tunnels in the outlying district of Cu Chi will increase, tolls for Huynh Tan Phat Street are no longer required, and prices of various kinds of land will be announced on January 1, 2006.

The members of the People’s Council, spent lots of time in the three-day meeting discussing existing issues and problems in the city.

Information Technology

Vo Van Sen said local-level authorities have better applied the progress of information technology in their jobs. But the realization of some projects is not going as smoothly as expected.

He added Quang Trung Software Park failed to meet the target for software turnover. The People’s Committee wants this turnover to make up 40% of the software park’s total revenue in 2005, but the unit could not make it. Meanwhile, many foreign software companies have received a license to operate inside the park but available land is not enough for them. So they must buy land from other companies.

Relocation of inhabitants

Dang Van Khoa, another deputy of the People’s Council, demonstrated to the meeting sufferings of inhabitants who are waiting for a new living place to resettle. They have had to wait three years or so, while the officials had earlier promised the resettlement time for them to be just three to six months.  

Khoa said the People’s Council needs to pay close attention to this problem.

Zoning

Relating to zoning, Ho Chi Minh City vice chairman Nguyen Van Dua reiterated that he is in charge of zoning in the city’s 24 districts. He said the city has developed so fast for zoning work to keep track, resulting in many problems that require lots of time to solve.

The vice chairman said he supports the decentralization of authority in zoning work, but the point is how to make it effectively. This requires local-level officials to work as effectively as expected.

Administrative reform

Concerning administrative reform, city chairman Le Thanh Hai said efforts in this process need to be conducted together with efforts to fight corruption.

He said one of the important tasks to do is to remove obstacles in procedures to carry out major infrastructure projects funded by State budget.

“We have to ensure transparency in our jobs. Comrades, be determined in dealing with personnel issues.”

A construction site in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: Trong Khuong)

Ho Chi Minh City is preparing to carry out a project to ensure an urban government, and the city leaders expect to submit the plan for the project to the Vietnamese government in the middle of 2006, said the city chairman.

2006: year for administrative reform

The People’s Council meeting wrapped up after council chairwoman Pham Phuong Thao remarked activities of the council’s members. She said the members, who represent the city dwellers, transferred many questions from the residents to the responsible officials for them to answer. The questions were about numerous areas including education, health care, land zoning, water supply, flood fighting, infrastructure development and pollution.

She added that every month, the council, in collaboration with Ho Chi Minh City Television, will hold meetings for the responsible officials to answer questions from the residents so that the council’s meeting next time could save time.

She said 2006 will be called the year for administrative reform.

By staff writers-Translated by Tuong Thuy

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