Disbursement of public funds far behind schedule

By Anh Minh   August 20, 2019 | 05:48 pm PT
Disbursement of public funds far behind schedule
Workers are seen at a construction site in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
Localities nationwide have disbursed just 31 percent of the National Assembly’s 2019 public investment plan at VND134.5 trillion ($5.8 billion) in Jan-July.

Ho Chi Minh City has so far only disbursed 26 percent of VND33.17 trillion ($1.43 billion) of public funds it needs to invest for the year, while Hanoi has disbursed just 25 percent, Deputy Minister of Finance Tran Van Hieu said at a recent government meeting.

Another VND35 trillion ($1.51 billion) in public funds remain unallocated because the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has been slow to compile capital requirements of ministries and localities for submission to the Prime Minister for approval.

This capital should have been allocated three months ago, Hieu said.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Vu Dai Thang, said that out of the unallocated capital, VND9.9 trillion ($427 million) has been earmarked for state-owned oil and gas group PetroVietnam (PVN) and military-owned telecom giant Viettel, but has not been allocated because legal procedures have not been completed.

Another VND2.4 trillion ($104 million) meant for a regional socio-economic development program has also not been allocated because the State Audit in September 2018 found that the allocation would contravene investment regulations, he added.

Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue criticized the MPI for delays in compiling the capital needs of localities, and for not reporting on causes for the delays or offering solutions.

Hue directed the MPI to submit allocation plans regarding the VND35 trillion ($1.51 billion) to the Prime Minister by the end of this month, and cancel capital allocation plans to ministries and localities that have not disbursed their capital by September 30.

Last year, Vietnam only met 65.96 percent of the public funds disbursement target set by the National Assembly, according to the Ministry of Finance.

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