HCMC – HCMC has disbursed only 10.5% of the entire year’s over VND15 trillion in official development assistance (ODA) loans in the first half of 2020, the city authorities said at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh on June 29.
ODA loans allocated to HCMC in the 2016-2020 period account for 70% of the entire country’s loans, and the city is developing nine major ODA projects but the ODA disbursement rate has been exceptionally low due to a number of reasons.
According to Vo Van Hoan, vice chairman of HCMC, some projects are awaiting the Prime Minister’s permission to adjust the completion time, including the green transport project and the environmental sanitation – second phase project.
The city has to re-launch bids for certain packages of the second metro line because the previous bids were inconsistent with bidding regulations, while bids for several other projects have not been launched, so capital has not been disbursed.
Besides this, the Covid-19 pandemic has hindered the entry of foreign experts and devices into the city for the first metro line.
Nguyen Thanh Phong, HCMC chairman, said the slow ODA disbursement has partially been caused due to procedure entanglement.
Moreover, ministries have not finalized whether ODA loans for the city’s first metro line project will be calculated in yen or dong.
The city asked the ministries to resolve this issue in May 2019 but the Ministry of Finance only responded three months later, while the Ministry of Planning and Investment has yet to reply.
Phong urged ministries to immediately resolve the issue to speed up metro line projects, adding that the increasing population is putting pressure on the city’s transport infrastructure and metro lines would help reduce traffic congestion.
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh asked the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Planning and Investment to promptly resolve the issue.
Minh hoped the city would test run the first metro line in October 2020 and put it into operation in 2021. The deputy prime minister asked the city to speed up work on the ongoing ODA-financed projects and reassess the efficiency of projects that have been completed.