Transport infrastructure under the microscope

17:20 | 06/03/2013
Plans for capital infusion into transport sector infrastructure projects is coming into sharp focus as National Assembly committees and key agencies evaluate government bond allocations for 2012-2015 with an emphasis on urgent projects in 2013.

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“The general approach is that no more government bond capital will be given to projects with capital upsurge due to scope expansion and no new projects be added to the list of projects sourcing government bond capital from 2011-2015,” said Phung Quoc Hien, head of NA’s Finance and Budget Committee.

Hien said total government bond capital assigned to the Ministry of Transport (MoT) during 2012-2015 was around VND40.042 trillion ($1.9 billion), meeting 48.9 per cent of the actual demands.

That is why NA deputies are wary of further capital injections to projects and worry that efforts could lose focus.  

With such criteria, a MoT project on building an approach road linking northern Cau Gie-Ninh Binh expressway to National Highway 1 and three other MoT projects would not be subject to further capital infusion.

These three projects, designed to heal roads which were deteriorated during construction of Ho Chi Minh Highway in Nghe An province, improving National Highway 14C in Central Highlands region and National Highway 14C extension project.

The NA deputies also proposed not providing supplemental capital to another MoT project on building a road section linking Sipaphin-Muong Nhe since its investment capital was hiked to VND1.123 trillion ($53.4 million) from a mere VND389 billion ($18.5 million) following scope expansion.  

In this context, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang stressed the need of having in place a 6.8 kilometre long approach road linking Cau Gie-Ninh Binh expressway to National Highway 1 to alleviate traffic congestion in this area while significantly reducing travel time.

Government bond capital allocations for 2012-2015 and 2013 caused NA Standing Committee members headaches since many transport sector projects could face delay causing great waste. .
To find a way out, NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung suggested not considering above-said projects as fresh projects but part of existing projects, which in fact appeared in the list of projects sourcing government bond capital from 2011-2015 enclosed to NA’s Resolution 881. But efforts were needed to ensure total government bond capital during the period not exceed VND225 trillion ($700 million).

Hung’s initiative was supported by NA Standing Committee members who later agreed to provide sufficient capital to MoT for the five aforementioned  projects, including in VND400 billion ($19 million) for building the approach road to National Highway 1 in 2013.
The approach road project’s total investment is around VND1.511 trillion ($72 million).

By Han Tin

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