VCN- 2018 budget disbursement has improved since 2017, at a rate higher than 10%, but still lower than planned. To better implement the second half of the year, the amendment of the law along with the timely implementation of the resolution to solve the difficult problem is the preferred solution.
|From the beginning of 2018, the Government has strongly directed the promotion of public investment, contributing to economic growth and macroeconomic stability. Photo: H.Vân.|
Cause of "increased capital"
The latest report from the Ministry of Finance shows that ministries, agencies and localities have completed the allocation of capital plan for 2018. The estimated value for the first half of 2018 is 130,013.784 billion VND, reaching 32.53% of the plan approved by the National Assembly (equivalent to 25.59% of the same period in 2017) and 33.85% of the plan assigned by the Prime Minister (up 29.6% over the same period of 2017). In particular, domestic capital disbursed 119.527 billion VND, achieving 35.2% of the plan assigned by the National Assembly (about 10% higher than the same period in 2017 with a disbursement rate of 25.3%). There are 8 ministries, central agencies and 13 localities having disbursement rates higher than 50% of the plan. Especially, there are some units with high disbursement rates over 60% of the plan: Bank for Social Policies (79.55%), Quang Ninh (82.79%), Hai Duong (69.77%), Nam Dinh (68.96%).
Although the disbursement rate in the first 6 months of 2018 is higher than that for the same period in 2017, it is still low. According to disbursement reports from the State Treasury, there are still 35/56 ministries, central branches and 6/63 localities that plan to disburse in 2018 lower than 25%, of which 15 ministries’ disbursement rate is more than 10% lower. Some ministries and central agencies have not disbursed or almost have not disbursed their capital plan.
Regarding disbursement of foreign capital, some projects have a mechanism to re-lend locally, but many localities have not met the disbursement conditions for loans, so the provincial People's Committee does not grant, or there is slow approval of re-lending plan, or agreements on appraisal, and re-lending to provinces is still slow. A number of component projects affected by the overall situation are implementing revised procedures for the submission of revised total investment. Some projects have expired according to the decision of the Prime Minister, but have not disbursed at all, still have capital plans that need to carry out procedures to extend the duration of the project. Some projects have been disbursing slowly due to delayed management of capital plan; Focus on disbursement of capital plan in 2017. Some projects have large capital planning but the disbursement rate is 0%, because the project loan agreement is not effective or under constraints, and they cannot bid to withdraw in 2018.
As for the disbursement of domestic capital, some new projects have very low disbursement rate because the units need time to organize the selection of design consultants, contractor selection, construction and installation. According to reports from some localities, the time required to complete investment procedures for projects since the time of capital allocation is more than three months after the construction contract is signed. In addition, the restructuring or merger process has partly affected the progress of implementation and completion of procedures for acceptance and payment. In some transitional projects, the contractor did not attach much importance to making contractual payment documents for the disbursement of capital or disbursement procedures when the projects had the volume of implementation and acceptance. Price compensation when the state of land recovery is low, not close to the market could cause the disagreement of some people, resulting in lengthy land clearance time, causing project delay. Some completed projects are currently completing the audit and finalization of their projects so the payment profile has not been finalized.
With the capital from government bonds, in 2018, the capital allocated to the ministries and branches are arranged for new projects, so after the capital plan, investors have begun preparing for the implementation of the project, clearing procedures and organizing bidding, so the acceptance and payment volume in the first 6 months is very low.
Further analysis, Mr. Trieu Tho Han - Director of Investment Department, Ministry of Finance said that: In addition to common causes such as "season" of projects, a procedure arising in the investment process... the most fundamental reason is that the capital plan for the project must be compatible with the disbursement capability as well as the demand for disbursement of such projects. If planning closely, then the ability to make disbursement progress will be better. In addition, it is necessary to allow and to delegate responsibility to investors as well as to local ministries and agencies and to relevant agencies when considering responsible proactive planning in the layout so that projects are in line with the needs and capability of disbursement. For projects already included in the medium-term public investment plan, they are quickly adjusted to other projects with disbursement needs to increase the disbursement ratio.
Pay in advance, check later
In fact, in order to avoid delaying disbursements as in previous years, from the beginning of 2018, the Government has drastically directed the promotion of public investment, contributing to economic growth, stabilizing the macroeconomics. Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, had two sessions with 6 ministries. Central sectors have large public investment plans but low disbursement rate due to many problems in the process of disbursement, and there have been directives after the meeting to remove and direct the ministries, branches and localities to boost the disbursement rate of public investment.
As a general report on disbursement, guidance on payment and settlement of public investment capital, to promote public investment disbursement, from the beginning of February, the Ministry of Finance Document for urging the ministries, branches and localities to allocate the budget for investment in the state budget in 2018 as well as the allocation of capital plans for two national target programs. At the same time, the Ministry of Finance has directed the State Treasury to work with investors to complete the procedures for accounting and recouping of capital in advance of the plan.
In order to remove difficulties in payment and disbursement of public investment capital, the Ministry of Finance also regularly updates the difficulties and obstacles in implementing the detailed investment budget for 2018 in each project. The Finance Ministry handles according to its competence and makes summing-up reports to the Prime Minister for consideration and handling. In addition, the Ministry of Finance shall, in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Public Investment, make monthly reports to the Prime Minister on the situation of payment of investment capital for development of state budget capital and capital government bonds. The contents of the report have summarized and assessed difficulties in the slowing down of public investment capital by the ministries and localities, and at the same time it proposes to the Prime Minister a number of solutions to accelerate the progress of public investment disbursement.
To accelerate the disbursement of the plan from now to the end of the year, according to Mr. Trieu Tho Han, consideration of the adjustment of legal normative documents is necessary. Disbursement is only the final stage of project implementation, so the relevant laws affecting the whole project must consider adjustment. The Prime Minister and the Office of the Government urged ministries and agencies to take the initiative in reviewing issues related to the Law on Public Investment, the Law on Construction and the Law on Procurement. Leaders of the Investment Department also said that the Ministry of Finance was asked to review the legal provisions relating to investment capital. The Ministry has reviewed and proactively adjusted the amendments to create the best conditions for the payment of public investment. The Ministry has also amended the Circular relating to the payment of public investment. In addition to shortening the time to check the records of the State Treasury from 7 days to 4 days, this unit also made provisions for advance payment, control after the first disbursement, and only in the last disbursement of the project, will it pre-control and post-pay. These solutions will ensure the maximum favorable conditions for investors when paying and still ensure control of payment of capital as prescribed.
By Hồng Vân/ Huu Tuc