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Changes for better growth

(VLR) On May 14th, the Government Office released a document 543/TTg-CN on submitting the Assembly the Pre-feasibility Research of the Project of Building Sections of Expressway on the Eastern of the NorthSouth Route in the period of 2017- 2020. There are contents of moving 8 projects in the form of PPP to the form of public investment, all using the State budget.

Changes for better growth

Changes for better growth

Transfering 8 ppp projects of the north- south expressway to form of public investment

In the meeting to examine the above content by the Assembly’s Standing Economic Committee on May 14th, Nguyen Quoc Hung, Director of the Credit Department, the State Bank of Vietnam said, the change in form of PPP investment to public investment is urgent in the current situation.

The total investment in the 8 projects after being adjusted is VND 99,493bn (including VND 55,000bn belonging to plans of mid-term investments of the period 2016 - 2020 identified at the Resolution no.52/2017/QH14). Thus, the total investment will be VND 19,223bn less than that approved at the Assembly’s Decree no.52/2017/QH14 (VND 118,716 bn).

The Government will give guideline to the Ministry of Transport, together with the ministries of Planning- Investment and Finance, to be in charge of allocating the remaining amount of VND 44,493bn in mid-term investments of the period 2021 - 2025 and report to the Assembly for consideration in accordance to the Law of Public Investment.

Credit debt of BOT transport projects currently is about VND 102,000 bn. Among which, 59/116 projects has turnover that fails to guarantee their financial schemes: their turnover are unable to pay debts from banks. More seriously, 43/116 BOT projects have to change their debt structures with the amount of money of VND 66,474bn, including 10 projects change to bad debt with the amount of money of VND 14,618bn and 33 projects face risks of bad debts with the amount of money of over VND 51,000bn.

Credit institutions currently have to comply with prudential ratio, and credit limits are prescribed in regulations in the Circular 22/2019 of SBV. Accordingly, the maximum rate of using short-term capital for mid-term loans and long-term loans has to be adjusted gradually down, from January 1st - September 30th, 2020 is 40%; from October 1st, 2020 - September 30th, 2021 is 37% from October 1st, 2021- September 2022 is 34% and from October 1st, 2022 is 30%.

Bidders won the preliminary rounds are those who are capable but have limited financial ability. They must be caught in a vicious circle: borrowing loans from banks to invest as they did previously. “It is difficult for investors who are mainly bidders to persuade banks for a loan up to VND 5,000bn- 10,000bn to invest in the North- South Expressway. It is possible that no bank agree to let them borrow. In addition, according to legal regulation, no institution has the right to ask a credit institution for a loan when the projects has no financial efficiency or the investor lack abilities,” Hung gave a statement.

Sub-projects of the North- South Expressway has large total investment, loans from bank are able to exceed limits of creditgiving while capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of State’s banks reaches its limit. Therefore, the move of 8 PPP projects of the North-South Expressway to the form of public investment is urgent and suitable to the situation.

The Government recognized clearly difficulties from mobilizing credit capital resources, so they assigned the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), in cooperation with ministries and sectors, to research and suggest solutions. However, there has been no feasible solutions to solve these matters thoroughly, especially in current situation, when commercial banks are focusing on solutions to assist enterprises and people to overcome impacts from the pandemic of COVID-19.

Target of stimulus and boosting up growth

As a conclusion of the meeting by the Assembly’s Standing Economic Committee, Chairman Vu Hong Thanh said: “Most of delegates agreed to boost up the progress of the North- South Expressway to ensure quality and investment efficiency in the situation that the economy was suffered from the pandemic impacts and they agreed the Government’s suggestions in the statement as well. This is the responsibility of the whole political system to boost up the progress of public investments and national key works for better economic growth”.

Being authorized by the Prime Minister, Nguyen Van TheMinister of the Ministry of Transport- signed the statement, reported and explained the content to the Assembly and the Standing Economic Committee; the change in form of investment of the 8 projects of the North- South Expressway from the form of PPP to the form of public investments will push up the process of implementation and public investment disbursement stimulating the economy’s GDP. He said works of technical design and cost estimates of these projects have been basically completed, and ground-clearance work has been completed over 70%.

If the projects changed in investment form of public investment, these are favorable conditions for these projects to be implemented in 2020. But if they are kept implementing in form of PPP, with difficulties in mobilizing credit capital and in choosing investors, it is impossible to be on schedule. In case of favorable conditions, credit mobilization will be done in the middle of 2021 and then, implementation will be done after, it is impossible to complete the project on schedule as required in the Resolution no.52/2017 by the Assembly.

The implementation and quick completion of the projects of the North- South expressway will bring great economic- socio efficiency, and have widespread impacts on developments of different sectors, fields, related locales and economic zones. At the same time, the change in form of investment- from PPP to public investment- also boost public disbursement, production, material supply for projects, job opportunity and laborers’ income, especially local enterprise will implement the projects directly, contributing in the economic growth.

The Ministry of Transport has been implementing projects on the Eastern of the NorthSouth Express in accordance to the guidance at the Resolution no. 52/2017/QH14; after the Government issued the Resolution no.41/NQCP dated April 9th, 2020, the Ministry of Transport prepared all relevant procedures and projects to be ready for kick off 8 sub-projects after the Assembly approves the change in form of investment.

Ngo Duc Hanh

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