Difficulties mainly focus on public investment


Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong

At the beginning of February, the Prime Minister sent a public telegram to urge the drastic and effective implementation of the program of socio-economic recovery and development, and accelerate the disbursement of public investment capital. With the implementation time of two years, how can we disburse the most and have the best quality of this support package?

After the Socio-economic Development and Recovery Program, with an “unprecedented” budget of up to VND350,000 billion, disbursed in the two years 2022 – 2023, was approved by the National Assembly at the first extraordinary session of the 15th National Assembly, the Government issued Resolution 11/NQ-CP as the guideline for this program.

This has basically met the wishes of the business community and the people, demonstrating the strong determination of the National Assembly and the Government in helping our country’s economy soon overcome a period of difficulties and challenges.

Many questions arise, such as how it can be implemented in two years, in which the disbursement of public investment capital is a task that the Government and the Prime Minister pay special attention to, regularly directing and requesting ministries, branches and localities to strengthen solutions to speed up the progress.

For the public investment sector, besides three groups of specific solutions approved by the National Assembly, they still have to comply with current regulations on public investment. Therefore, it takes longer than the credit sector as well as the tax and fee policy sector. To overcome this situation, the National Assembly has authorized the implementation of a flexible mechanism that combines the recovery program with the medium-term public investment plan for the 2021-2025 period.

Accordingly, with the additional budget from the recovery program of VND113,000 billion for public investment, it will increase the central budget estimate in 2022 – 2023 for public investment.

In the immediate future, it will spend on projects of the medium-term public investment plan for the 2021-2025 period that are eligible for implementation and disbursement.

And how will the projects in the economic recovery program be spent? Projects that are completed early can be disbursed as soon as 2022 or 2023. As for large projects, the disbursement during implementation will fall around 2024 or 2025. At that time, the disbursement will be used. Using the capital that should have been spent on the medium-term public investment plan with projects that were spent before 2022 – 2023, the remaining capital will be used to fund the disbursement of restoration projects.

This will harmonize the recovery program and the medium-term public investment plan. At the same time, it will solve the problem that we are prone to have, that is, having money without a project to spend, which is also a new advancement in the implementation of this recovery mechanism.

A very important part, accounting for one-third of the VND350,000 billion support package, is for infrastructure investment. But the disbursement of public investment capital has always been a problem, not only in the procedural process but also in the implementation process. Which projects will receive support from the support package for infrastructure investment of VND114,000 billion?

Resolution No. 43 and Resolution No. 11 of the Government have determined an amount of nearly VND114,000 billion to serve investment in infrastructure. This capital is to implement urgent and pervasive works and projects, creating a driving force for socio-economic development. In addition, this is also prime capital for ministries, branches and localities to continue to have conditions to mobilize other resources for development.

Out of a total of nearly VND114,000 billion for infrastructure, it is expected that there will be about VND70,000 billion for the North-South expressway. The rest will be allocated to a number of other projects in the fields of transport, agriculture, healthcare and digital transformation.

In which, it focuses on three investment groups. The first is transport infrastructure, which is a large-scale group with many key national projects. Typically, the project of North-South Expressway phase 2, in addition to projects with regional connectivity, horizontal and vertical axes in the Central region and the Mekong Delta where strategic infrastructure is needed for development.

The second is the group on projects of the agriculture and rural development sector, with a focus on remediation and prevention of riverbank erosion as well as disaster prevention projects.

The third is the medical group. We will be focusing a significant amount of capital on overcoming the limitations seen during the past Covid-19 outbreaks. As with the grassroots health system, we see that capacity is very weak, so it is necessary to invest in improving the capacity of the grassroots health system.

Has the Ministry of Planning and Investment received project proposals from ministries and branches, sir?

At the Government’s regular meeting in February, the Ministry of Planning and Investment also made a report on the basis of summarization from relevant ministries, branches and localities showing that the tasks of Resolution 11 were implemented with great urgency by ministries, branches and localities.

The results show that the ministries, branches and localities basically meet the requirements of Resolution 11 of the Government. However, there are still some difficulties in synthesizing the implementation work.

The Ministry of Finance has been very proactive in drafting and submitting legal documents and guidelines on policies related to tax and fee adjustment so that they can be implemented in the first months of 2022.

Regarding solutions related to credit sources, the State Bank is also very proactive in coordinating with ministries, including the Ministry of Planning and Investment, to draft documents, especially decrees on guidelines for principles, criteria, as well as objects to receive support from preferential credit sources in the Socio-Economic Development and Recovery Program.

Difficulties in implementing Resolution 11 mainly focus on public investment, because it involves many projects as well as the order and procedures for approving projects. The progress, as well as the synthesis of public investment projects under the Socio-Economic Recovery and Development Program, is currently a bit slower because the implementation progress of ministries, branches and localities is very different.

In the program of socio-economic recovery and development, the Government also issued Resolution 11 in detail with specific items. The resolution assigned specific tasks to each relevant ministry, branch, and locality in association with progress, time as well as forms of implementation.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment wants the ministries, branches and localities to supervise the tasks assigned under Resolution 11 to implement quickly and effectively, with that, the effectiveness of the Program will be promoted.

Thank you, sir!


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