VCN - This year is the final year of the medium-term public investment plan period 2016-2020. The remaining tasks for the entire period are set for this year. However, the Covid-19 pandemic affected production and business activities of the whole country. Projects using ODA loans and concessional loans are also heavily affected. This poses a significant challenge to capital disbursement activities. Customs News spoke with Mr. Truong Hung Long, Director of Department of Debt Management and External Finance, the Ministry of Finance, about this issue.
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|Mr. Truong Hung Long, Director of Department of Debt Management and External Finance, Ministry of Finance.|
In the past six months, Vietnam's economy faced many challenges, especially the "unexpected" appearance of the Covid-19 pandemic. That also affects the disbursement of public investment in foreign loans. What has the Ministry of Finance done to promote disbursement activities?
In recent years, the Ministry of Finance always pays attention to the disbursement of public and domestic investment capital, considering it a key task, contributing to the successful implementation of socio-economic development tasks in the new situation.
To carry out this task, the Minister of Finance has directed the whole sector to implement the measures synchronously. In particular, in the first quarter of 2020, the Ministry of Finance had five documents to urge local ministries and branches to allocate soon and enter TABMIS of the assigned estimates to have a basis for capital payment. At the same time, they also reviewed and completed the processes and procedures related to expenditure control, capital withdrawal and accounting.
After the Government and Prime Minister issued resolutions and directives on solutions to remove difficulties in production and business, the Ministry of Finance continued to send two documents to urge ODA borrowingproject owners and foreign concessional loans of ministries, branches and localities reported the number of capital plans allocated and imported into TABMIS, the disbursements and the implementation of the capital plans.
The Ministry of Finance has also pushed up the modernization of the management of capital withdrawal applications; elaborating a decree on management, payment and settlement of projects funded with public investment capital; deploying working delegations to work directly with units with projects using ODA capital of large scale to solve difficulties and accelerate disbursement of projects.
Other ministries and sectors as well as localities have taken drastic measures to promote the disbursement of public investment capital, including the disbursement of foreign public investment capital.
How were the results of disbursement of public investment capital of foreign loans in the last six months? Could you tell us some outstanding figures?
According to the Ministry of Finance, by the end of June 24, 2020, the disbursement of public investment plans in 2020 of foreign loans of ministries, branches and localities was VND7,427 billion, reaching 13.1% of the assigned estimate. In particular, disbursements of ministries and central branches reached 15.46% of the assigned estimate. There are three ministries disbursing over 20% of the capital plan, namely the Ministry of Transport (29%), Ministry of Defense (27.6%), and Ministry of Health (27.3%). The Ministry of Industry and Trade has not disbursed the capital allocated for public investment with the estimated budget of VND138 billion.
Disbursement of localities reached 11.98% of the estimate, of which 14 localities disbursed over 20% of the capital plan: Hanoi, Cao Bang, BacKan, Dien Bien, Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Son La, Nghe An, BinhDinh, Phu Yen, TayNinh, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, KienGiang and SocTrang. However, there are 10 localities that have not disbursed capital for public investment allocation: BacGiang, VinhPhuc, Hai Duong, Nam Dinh, Da Nang, NinhThuan, BinhThuan, BinhPhuoc, Dong Nai, TienGiang.
At the same time, ministries, branches and localities are continuing to disburse public investment capital from foreign sources according to the plan for 2019. From January 1, 2020 to June 24, 2020, the total disbursement according to the capital plan for 2019 is VND7,198 billion, of which the disbursement of the ministries and branches is VND2,425 billion and the disbursement of the localities is about VND4,773 billion.
2020 is the last year of the medium term 2016-2020. Repeated disbursement will seriously affect macroeconomic stabilization efforts, implementation of development goals as well as the results of socio-economic tasks of 2020 and whole stage. What do we need to do to fulfill our goals?
From the Ministry of Finance, we will continue to coordinate to remove difficulties and drastically implement solutions to accelerate the disbursement of public investment; accelerating the application of information technology further in disbursement of ODA and concessional loans; taking measures to strengthen control and shorten the time to refund documents for special account payments.
In addition, it needs to quickly implement the Decree on administrative procedures in the field of State Treasury; improving the process of spending control, processing capital withdrawal applications at the Ministry of Finance and the State Treasury to ensure the prescribed limit; do not backlog records without reason; urge the investor to carry out procedures to control expenditures within four days after having the completed volume, leaving no outstanding stocks to the end of the year.
However, to achieve the highest efficiency, it is necessary to implement drastically solutions of the entire political system, the Government, ministries, branches and localities.
The governing bodies shall urgently review the allocation of detailed cost estimates to each project, ensuringprogress and disbursement needs of the project and promptly enter into the Tabmis system for a disbursement basis; direct project owners to expeditiously return vouchers already withdrawn to accounts, especially for the vouchers over three months, ensuring financial discipline compliance; check, review, supervise and urge to promptly solve problems and difficulties in project implementation and disbursement.
Along with that, the project owner should focus on implementing programs and projects to promptly have a volume for disbursement; reporting immediately to the managing agencies and concerned ministries and branches on problems arising in each stage of project implementation so as to take measures to promptly handle and return payment vouchers from special accounts and advance accountswithin three months as prescribed.
Agencies such as the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Construction should soon sum up requirements for capital plan reduction and submit them to competent authorities for consideration and decision, if it is necessary, they will be transferred to ministries, branches and localities that lack and are capable to implement and disburse. At the same time, researching and organizing training of new mechanisms and policies to implement them consistently and effectively.
By this way, the disbursement of public investment capital for foreign loans in 2020 and the whole 2016-2020 period will ensure progress.