VIETNAM, December 22 –
Minister of Finance Hồ Đức Phớc. – Photo VNA / VNS
Finance Minister Hồ Đức Phớc talks to the media about the disbursement of public investments and the difficulties hindering the process.
As of the end of November, only 65.7% of this year’s public investment had been disbursed nationally. The prime minister said that by the end of this year, disbursement of public investments should reach 95 to 100 percent of the planned fund. What is the current state of disbursement?
Currently, the disbursement of public investment capital in the localities is still very low. Along with the development of the pandemic, other main factors affecting the progression of public investments relate to preparedness works, including the allocation of capital, project development, project approval and investment procedures such as cost estimates, bidding documents and calls for tenders and especially the slowness of clearing.
This year, another objective reason is the sharp rise in the prices of building materials (steel, sand, gravel). As a result, the contractors delayed construction to wait for prices to drop again. On the other hand, the implementation of social distancing by localities to control the COVID-19 pandemic has affected activities related to the disbursement of public investment capital.
Depending on the amount of disbursements planned until January 31, 2022, some provinces have registered to achieve 75 to 85% of the assigned plan, but still have not reached the target set by the government resolution. Therefore, provinces will have to work day and night to implement and report the volume disbursed by December 31.
Some provinces have recently proposed to extend public investment projects until December 31, 2022. If each province receives such an extension, national tax policy will be affected. Moreover, during the difficult period when the COVID-19 pandemic is still complicated, many companies fail to create jobs and workers find themselves unemployed, the extension of public investment projects also means that the plans of government stimulus are not working effectively. Therefore, localities must first focus on public investment to disburse as much, quickly and efficiently as possible, and then consider stimulus packages.
What solutions has the Ministry of Finance taken to speed up disbursement?
The ministry called on provinces and units to eliminate difficulties and problems, and at the same time, coordinate with ministries and sectors to eliminate “bottlenecks” to ensure effective public investment as well. than the speed of disbursements.
The ministry guarantees the disbursement of funds and guides the ministries / agencies / localities to carry out the procedures required within the framework of its functions. Currently, the ministry has a permanent team which is always ready to solve the problems and difficulties of the provinces.
In addition, the Ministry of Finance submitted to Government Decree No. 79/2021 / ND-CP amending and supplementing the on-lending of ODA loans and foreign concessional loans from the government; Decree No. 99/2021 / NĐ-CP relating to the management, payment and regulation of the use of public investment capital; Circular No. 96/2021 / TT-BTC and Circular No. 15/2021 / TT-BTC, which states that the People’s Committees of the provinces and cities instruct the Departments of Finance to coordinate with the Department of Planning and Development. investment and the State Treasury in the reports on the disbursement of State funds by the provinces. Any difficulties and issues that arise during disbursement should be addressed and resolved in a timely manner.
Currently, the process of disbursing investment capital from the state budget has shifted from “first check, pay later” to “first pay, check later”. On the other hand, the capital settlement period has been reduced from four days to one working day (with early payment and 80 percent of the volume paid). The remaining payments are made within a maximum period of three working days from the date of receipt of the completed and valid documents.
The problem of slow disbursements of public investment capital has been around for years. So, in the times to come, what solutions are needed for faster disbursement?
A key solution is to improve the legal basis, such as separating site clearance from investment projects.
Currently, the clearing works pose problems of price, land price adjustment coefficients, compensation plans, relocation, overlap of sites and complaints from the populations. This is a major bottleneck in the disbursement of public investment capital.
As land clearing and resettlement works have not been separated from public investment projects, when adjusting project costs related to site clearing, investment policies will need to be adjusted. In addition, the project approval decision will affect the investment preparation time and project implementation.
So customs clearance must be done first. Thus, once he has won a bid and signed a construction contract, the investor can proceed immediately with the project. Thus, the construction work will be carried out continuously. At the same time, the quality of disbursements will be better and more efficient. – VNS