Saigon mulls merging districts to trim administrative costs

By Thien Ngon   December 24, 2016 | 07:30 pm PT
Some districts are too small to justify the expenses required to maintain their government bodies, officials say.

Ho Chi Minh City is considering combining some of its districts to make its administration system leaner and cut expenses.

The idea, put forth on Friday by the Department of Home Affairs, was first discussed as far back as 30 years ago.

"In terms of size, District 4 is even smaller than a ward in Binh Tan District,” said Do Van Dao, the department's deputy director. “Yet it has to maintain a full-fledged administrative system, which includes 15 wards.”

District 4, which spans an area of just four square kilometers, has a population of 200,000. Binh Tan District is 13 times bigger, with a population three times larger.

HCMC's Communist Party chief Dinh La Thang said the mergers should be part of a larger plan to trim the city's administrative structure.

In April, the Ministry of Home Affairs said it planned to reduce the number of those on state payroll by at least 10 percent in the next five years, equivalent to roughly 20,000 people.

Ho Chi Minh City, home to eight million people, is the largest city in Vietnam with 24 districts.

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