PM requires ministries to create conditions for HCMC to make breakthrough

SGGP
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on July 20 required ministries to reply to proposals made by HCMC within a specific time limit instead of lengthening it and causing delays.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) talks to HCMC Party Leader Nguyen Thien Nhan at the working session (Photo: SGGP)

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) talks to HCMC Party Leader Nguyen Thien Nhan at the working session (Photo: SGGP)

Speaking at a working session with HCMC on implementation of the public investment plan in 2020, the PM said that the Government mission basically agreed with HCMC’s suggestions.
Mr. Phuc emphasized the important position and role of HCMC to the country and the region. Hence, he urged ministries and central agencies to focus on supporting the city to develop appropriately, adding that ministries and ministers are responsible for quickly solving proposals from HCMC.
At the working session, PM Phuc recorded and appreciated efforts by HCMC leaders in Covid-19 prevention fighting with a lot of success contributing to the country’s common success.
In the first half of 2020, HCMC’s growth rate was only 1.02 percent as the service sector which accounts for 60 percent of the city’s Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) has been heavily hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. This low growth rate affects the country as the city’s growth rate is traditionally 1.3-1.5 times higher than the country’s. Therefore, the PM required HCMC to report some stagnant and behind schedule projects which have not been solved yet, focusing on domestic projects and FDI projects in need of difficulty clearance.
According to the PM, solving difficulties for production and trading especially public investment aims to help HCMC make breakthrough and get a higher growth rate in the second half of 2020. Leaders of the Government and ministries will handle problems to boost public investment, private investment and ODA investment so that the city can obtain higher growth rate, provide more jobs and more contribute to the state budget with the responsibility of a city making up 23 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
95 percent disbursement rate target in 2020
PM requires ministries to create conditions for HCMC to make breakthrough ảnh 1 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc makes a statement at the working session with HCMC on July 20 (Photo: SGGP)
At the meeting, chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong reported the city's public investment plan with the total capital of VND41.69 trillion (US$17.99 billion) including VND33.94 trillion from the city budget and VND7.75 from the central budget. As of July 15, VND18.33 trillion ($740.97 billion) has been disbursed reaching 45.18 percent of the assigned capital plan.
With the role of a special city, HCMC is determined to make more efforts with higher determination to ensure the disbursement rate and prevent low disbursement from slowing economic recovery in the city and the country. The city has set a target of increasing disbursement rate to 80 percent of the capital plan in October this year and 95 percent by the end of this year.
To obtain the target, HCMC leaders suggested the PM consider solving some problems to speed up disbursement to contribute to post Covid-19 economic recovery.
Specifically the city proposed the PM to assign the Ministry of Planning and Investment to supplement the remaining ODA funds of VND 3,677 billion ($158.92 million) for the first metro line project, this amount of money could be taken from the central budget in the midterm capital plan for the phase from 2016-2020. This aims to make sure that the project will be built in 2021.
To the second metro line, HCMC proposed the PM to permit the city to adjust the structure of cost items of the project so that the city can continue implementing separate projects on site clearance and compensation in order not to increase the total investment capital of the project.
In addition, the city proposed the PM to instruct relevant ministries to provide specific guidance on the sequence to make payment to BT investors in cash or with land fund according to current regulations to harmonize benefits of relevant sides in the BT contracts.
The PM should assign an agency to receive and handle opinions from the city and guide the city to propose the PM to decide the use of the land fund after site clearance and compensation to make payment to investors.
The city also asked the PM’s opinion about using public assets to make payment to investors of BT projects. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Planning and Investment should work together to guide implementation of this content and put it into decrees guiding PPP Law for localities to have a basic to follow.
HCMC proposed the PM to soon approve the use of ODA funds to build Ring Road No.3 and No.4 as per the suggestion by Cuu Long Corporation for Investment Development and Project Management of Infrastructure to create a foundation to carry out following steps. The PM was also suggested to require ministries and agencies to speed up the progress of investment preparation work for the Ring Road No.4 project. The investment policy of this project should be passed in the phase from 2020-2025 to have a basic to determine site clearance boundary, investment capital and call for investors to build the project after 2025.
The city proposed the PM to assign ministries to quickly provide specific guidance for the city to build four bridges, dredge canals and dig the central lake and new canals in Thu Thiem new urban area. 
Finnally, the PM should require ministries to give specific instructions on the process of implementing investment procedures for construction of HCMC-Moc Bai Expressway and make clear the agency that has the competence to approve the project and authorized contents.

By staff writers - Translated by Ngoc Thanh

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