Vietnam’s National Assembly Standing Committee (NASC) on January 11 agreed to change two Eastern North-South Expressway sub-projects from public-private partnership to solely public.
The two sub-projects are National Highway No 45-Nghi Son and Nghi Son-Dien Chau.
The North-South Expressway project has a total length of 654km and is divided into 11 sub-projects. Investment for the sub-projects totals 100.8 trillion dong ($4.4 billion), with 78.4 trillion dong sourced from the state budget.
Presenting a report at the meeting, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said per two previous National Assembly (NA) resolutions, six of the 11 sub-projects were to be public-funded and five others implemented under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model.
From October 2-5 last year, project management boards opened bids to select investors for five of the sub-projects. However, only three sub-projects with two investors submitted bidding documents, namely Dien Chau-Bai Vot, Nha Trang-Cam Lam and Cam Lam-Vinh Hao.
The two remaining projects did not have any bids from investors, including the National Highway No 45-Nghi Son and Nghi Son –Dien Chau. Thus, the government proposed the NASC consider transforming the investment models for the two projects.
Vu Hong Thanh, head of the NA’s Economic Affairs Committee, said the NASC deputies were divided over the proposal.
Many deputies agreed with the government’s proposal while some suggested reviewing the financial plan to increase the feasibility because the main reason for the unsuccessful bidding was that the financial plans of these two projects were unattractive.
The NASC’s supervisory committee concurred with the opinion of the majority of NA deputies that the two component projects have very high transport demand – ranked second and third out of five PPP investment projects, indicating their urgent need.
Nine out of the 11 component projects are expected to be completed by next year. Of these, three PPP investment projects have completed the selection of investors while six public investment projects are being implemented by contractors. The My Thuan 2 Bridge is slated to be completed in 2023.
Thanh said: “Therefore, if the two component projects are not urgently implemented, it will affect the overall progress and efficiency of the whole project.”
52nd session of NASC opens
Earlier in the morning, the NASC convened its 52nd session, chaired by NA chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.
In her opening remarks, Ngan said the first sitting of 2021 will focus on preparations for the elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils for the 2021-2026 tenure.
Several draft reports on the work of the State President, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuracy, and the State Audit of Vietnam during their term of office in 2016-2021 will also be discussed.
The NASC is expected to debate a number of proposals, including the financial settlement solution for the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group when paying for the price subsidy in the product consumption of the Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical LLC.
It will also hear government reports on the enforcement of Item 22, Article 4 of the Law on Public Investment, and make a decision on the administrative boundary adjustment of several commune-level administrative units in Dak Nong, Binh Dinh, Bac Ninh and Hoa Binh provinces.
After the opening ceremony, under the chair of NA Vice chairman Uong Chu Luu, the NASC discussed and approved a resolution on regulations and guidance for the organisation of voters meetings, the process to nominate candidates for all-level People’s Councils and the NA, and another guiding the expected structure and quantity of nominated candidates for People’s Councils at all levels.
VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK