At least 95% of the public investment budget, or VND676 trillion ($28.47 billion), must be disbursed this year to speed up growth, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said Tuesday.
The National Assembly has approved the spending of nearly VND711.7 trillion on public projects this year.
Prime Minister Chinh told a meeting on speeding up public investment disbursement that the payment of this fund this year would create a momentum for economic development amid global uncertainties and domestic difficulties.
The approved budget is 23% higher than last year. The year 2023 is also the last year for the government to disburse the money which has been allocated for the recovering the economy, which was hit hard by Covid-19.
“The budget is larger. Without an early efficient plan, disbursement will be delayed,” Chinh said. “A prolonged project will see costs increase and consequently growth momentum will be hampered.”
The Ministry of Planning and Investment said in a report that a bigger budget poses challenges, adding that the cost of materials are unpredictable and that this could have a direct impact on construction.
It proposed that localities be given more power to speed up disbursement.
Tran Sy Thanh, chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, said that public projects are facing many obstacles in regulations concerning land or the environment.
“We hope that the prime minister will review [current policies] and give us more power so that [government bodies] will not have to urge each other to disburse investment.”
By the end of January, Hanoi had disbursed nearly 88% of the 2022 budget, equal to over VND45 trillion, which Thanh considered a “great effort.”
For this year’s budget, Hanoi had so far disbursed 5.5%, or VND3.6 trillion.
Ho Chi Minh City has been given over VND70 trillion to disburse this year, doubling last year’s figure.
The city chairman Phan Van Mai said that by the end of March all of this money will be allocated specifically to projects.
The city plans to speed up the approval of projects, land acquisition, and increase linkages between agencies while monitoring construction progress, he said.
“We guarantee that projects will have clean land for construction to begin within the first six months this year,” said Mai.
The third ring road in HCMC, for example, will have 80% of land cleared for construction to begin by June, and by November the remaining land will be given to contractors, Mai said.
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