Government to make hike in public spending

By Minh Son   October 21, 2020 | 07:17 pm PT
Government to make hike in public spending
Workers construct the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien Metro Line in Ho Chi Minh City on April 20, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The government plans to increase public spending by 37.5 percent in the next five-year period, prioritizing infrastructure and energy.

It has earmarked VND2.75 quadrillion ($118.46 billion) for 2021-25, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

The money will be used for key infrastructure, energy and digital economy projects. They include completion of the eastern section of the North-South Expressway, a number of coastal roads and others connecting airports and seaports.

Other priorities include training skilled labor, ensuring water security and responding to climate change.

Chairman of the House's Finance and Budget Committee, Nguyen Duc Hai, said the hike in public investment is required to revive the economy that has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He exhorted the government to carefully assess its financial requirements to ensure its borrowings do not have to be adjusted several times as it has had to do in recent years.

Experts and authorities have said tardy public spending is hindering growth, especially now when the economy actually needs a boost to recover.

The country earmarked nearly VND700 trillion for 2020, but spent only 20 percent of it in the first half, according to the Ministry of Finance.

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