The Hanoitimes - The disbursement for public investment projects has been moving at the slowest pace with only VND65 trillion (US$2.85 billion) in the first four months of this year, equal to 16.27 percent of the plan assigned by National Assembly.
According to the Ministry of Finance, only six ministries and sectors, and 14 cities and provinces had the disbursement rate of over 30 percent in the period.
Among the ministries and sectors, Ministry of Public Security had the highest ratio of 43.43 percent. It was followed by Ministry of Home Affairs with 37.93 percent and Management Board of Cultural Village of Ethnic Minorities of Vietnam with 36.13 percent.
Meanwhile, Hoa Binh Province led among 63 cities and provinces nationwide with 40.86 percent. Lao Cai, Ninh Binh, Ha Giang and Hoa Binh had the ratio of between 36.73 percent and 37.57 percent.
The disbursement of public investment capital is much slower than plans
The remaining ministries and provinces posted low disbursement of State investment capital. Specifically, 43 of 56 ministries and sectors, as well as 35 out of 63 localities had the disbursement rate of only 16 percent.
Especially, some ministries and sectors have not disbursed or had the disbursement ratio of only some 1 percent, such as the National Committee of the Union of Arts and Literature, Tobacco Corporation, Vietnam Bank for Social Policies, State Bank of Vietnam, Ministry of Planning and Investment, and Ministry of Health.
Last year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also had to ask authorities to take more drastic measures to rectify the late disbursement of investment capital for public projects, noting that the heads of agencies and localities would have to take responsibility for such delays.
The PM said that the slow disbursement of public investment leads to a bottleneck in national economic growth, adding that absent an urgent solution to accelerate the disbursement, economic growth would suffer and public debt would grow.
According to the government, slow disbursement of public investment was due in large part to lack of proper direction by heads of ministries and localities, in addition to inadequacies of related procedures, slow land clearance and limited capacity of project contractors.
The PM instructed relevant authorities to review all public projects, from investment procedures to choosing contractors, and take drastic measures to improve land clearance tasks.
The list of ministries and localities reporting slow disbursement last year included the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the State Bank of Vietnam and the cities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.
According to the report, the slow disbursement last year involved two main projects - building an Institute of Policy and Development with a total investment capital of VND202 billion ($8.9 million) and a project to apply e-commerce in Government purchases based on a Public-Private-Partnership model worth VND26 billion.
The slow disbursement was blamed on the Ministry of Construction’s slow progress in appraising construction drawings and the total estimated cost of the project, while the e-commerce project has not yet chosen a contractor, according to the Planning and Investment Ministry.
The Ministry of Health was reported to have disbursed VND831 billion ($36.6 million), or 16.2 per cent of the yearly plan. This was attributed to slow disbursement for two projects to build second facilities for Bach Mai and Viet Duc hospitals, with a total investment capital of VND3.2 trillion ($140 million).
These two large, complicated projects require engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts, and the process of appraising and approving designs and cost estimates has taken a long time, leading to delayed implementation and disbursement, according to the Health Ministry.