Lawmakers are urging the government to speed up the use of VND1,025 trillion ($42.57 billion) in state coffers for urgent projects to boost economic recovery.
Lawmaker Ha Sy Dong, deputy chairman of Quang Tri Province, said Thursday that the large amount of cash should be used for key projects to strengthen the economy, instead of letting it stay idle.
The government can also consider using it to lower interest on loans, he added.
Another lawmaker, Tran Anh Tuan, said earlier that the idle cash should be used to support workers by building them housing and creating new jobs.
But Minister Ho Duc Phoc said that the sum of money had already been earmarked for many key national projects and therefore cannot be used for other purposes.
The reason the money is unused for now is because of delays in disbursement, he added.
Tran Van Lam, a member of the National Assembly’s Finance Committee, said that although the amount of money is large, the government should not rush and thus use it ineffectively.
“If we use it quickly and it results in losses, there would be an even greater pain,” he said, adding that careful consideration is needed to utilize the case properly.
The slow disbursement of public investment has been a problem in Vietnam for years due to bureaucracy. In the first four months of 2023, only 14.7% of the year’s investment target was disbursed. That figure was even lower than the same period last year (18.5%).
Of the VND1,025 trillion in state coffers, VND895 trillion is being kept at the State Bank of Vietnam at a deposit interest rate of 0.8% a year, while the remaining amount is kept at commercial banks as short-term deposits.