In pandemic times, HCMC overachieves state budget collection target

By Huu Cong   March 2, 2021 | 09:00 pm GMT+7
In pandemic times, HCMC overachieves state budget collection target
High-rise buildings stand along the Saigon River in HCMC's District 1, September 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
In the first two months of 2021, the southern metropolis of HCMC earned VND2.9 trillion ($126.5 million) per day in budget collections.

The revenue is almost twice the sum it has been assigned for per day this year, municipal vice chairman Vo Van Hoan said at an online meeting Tuesday.

He said the government has tasked HCMC with earning VN365 trillion in budget revenues this year, counting working days only, which means it has to earn around VND1.5 trillion each day.

As of now, the city has collected VND74.5 trillion, up 10.5 percent against the same period last year.

"Given what has been happening, the city will be able to complete the mission assigned by the central government," Hoan said.

HCMC earned budget revenues of VND410 trillion in 2019, roughly 27 percent of the national figure and 3.3 percent higher than the target.

Last year, due to the pandemic impact, it achieved just 91.5 percent of the target, earning VND371 trillion.

HCMC's population makes up 9.5 percent of the nation's 96 million, its labor force accounts for 8.2 percent of the nation’s, but for several years now, it has repeatedly been the biggest money maker, contributing 25-27 percent of the state’s annual budget collection on average.

According to the city administration, in the first two months alone, all socio-economic development indicators in the city had posted better growth over the same period the previous year.

The total sales value of goods and services increased 4.7 percent while export turnover reached $8 billion, three times higher than the same period last year. The city’s industrial production index rose by 6 percent and more than 3,800 companies resumed operations in the first two months.

However, the city’s service industry is still suffering heavily from the pandemic and in the two months, the tourism sector saw revenues drop 70 percent year-on-year, while the hotel sector recorded a decrease of 14 percent.

Vietnam closed its borders and suspended all international flights in March 2020 to curb infection spread and has remained in that state ever since.

HCMC was granted autonomous decision-making powers in September 2017 to help it develop to its full potential. Accordingly, the city can raise and add additional fees and charges to increase its budget revenue.

Its top officials had in 2019 and 2020 asked the central government to let the city keep more of what it earns to pay for infrastructure development, because it has only been allowed to use 18 percent of its own budget collection so far.

Most major projects in HCMC, the biggest in Vietnam, are put under direct management of the ministries and the city cannot execute them as it has neither the financial ability nor the authority to do so.

 
 
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