HCMC asks for self-determination over infrastructure projects

Ho Chi Minh City would like to be given self-determination over project investment to speed up the progress of many infrastructure projects,said city Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong at a conference between the central Government and local authorities yesterday.

Work on Ben Thanh- Suoi Tien metro (Photo: SGGP)

Work on Ben Thanh- Suoi Tien metro (Photo: SGGP)

The self-determination by the Government is a aprt of the National Assembly’s Resolution No. 54 on piloting special mechanisms and policies for HCMC, Mr. Phong said.
The city authorities said in its report on February 8, 2017 that it needed over VND9 trillion ($391.9 million) yet it was given VND2,364 billion which meets 30 percent of the city’s demand; accordingly, the city authorities have petitioned the Prime Minister to allow it to use official assistance development (ODA) funds for urgent projects in the city, he added.
Moreover, the Central Government's approval of the disbursement of annual ODA capital should follow foreign sponsor’ pace of disbursement, according to article 76 of the Public Investment Law .
Mr. Phong added that in the first six months of the year, the city’s economy continued to grow with home products, totaling VND585,635 billion, up 7.66 percent against the same period last year.
Service, industry and agriculture sectors had positive results. Retailed commodities and service revenues increased by 12.5 percent compared to the same period last year.
Some 3.6 million foreign visitors arrived in the city, a year-on-year rise of 28.5 percent with total sales increase of 15.7 percent compared to the same period last year. The monetary market and bank activities are stable.
To help city authorities in achieving its goal in the last six months of the year, HCMC petitioned the PM to allow it to use the city’s state budget on projects under evaluation. HCMC has 42 state budget-funded projects under assessment, including building general infirmaries in districts Cu Chi and Hoc Mon and dredging Cho Lon canal.
Upon the use of ODA taken from the state budget in 2018, the city chairman said the city only received  ODA fund as per the Ministry of Investment and Trade’s annual plan. This can’t meet investment capital demand forthe projects especially urban railway projects including the metro No.1, No.2 and the second phase of the environment hygiene project.
Investment of the city has grown with total investment of VND163 trillion up by 11.7 percent. Over 24,400 newly established enterprises citywide registered capital of more than VND248 trillion while foreign investment reached $4.18 billion.
State budget collection saw a year-on-year rise of 6 percent, accounting for 8.6 percent of the whole year’s estimation.
In the last six months of the year, the city authorities will encourage startup firms as well as urge equitization of state enterprises, arrange activities of project managing boards and improve tourism service quality.
Furthermore, the city will take heed to develop smart city and work out project of first creative city.
Besides, the city also petitioned the PM to direct ministries and departments to implement the resolution No.63 on investment as per public–private partnership model so that the city and other provinces can call for social contribution in key projects for the city’s growth.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that he would assigned the Ministry of Finance to work on the HCMC proposals before submiting it to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee. 

By PHAN THAO – Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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