PM supports maximised decentralisation for Ho Chi Minh City

Wednesday, 2017-09-06 16:54:59
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A corner of Ho Chi Minh City from the north bank of Saigon River. (Credit: NDO)
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NDO – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has emphasised the need to maximise delegation to Ho Chi Minh City to facilitate its development, by allowing the southern economic hub to perform several tasks under the power of ministry and Government levels in the area.

>>> Ho Chi Minh City’s economy on steady growth track

On Wednesday, at the Government headquarters in Hanoi, the PM hosted a working session with the HCMC authorities to review the 5-year implementation of Resolution No. 16-NQ/TW by the Politburo on the directions and tasks required to develop the nation’s largest city by 2020 and the specific mechanisms for its development.

Delegates at the meeting agreed on the important position and role of HCMC with regards to the socio-economic development of the whole country, saying that after 30 years of doi moi (renewal), the city has achieved a lot of positive achievements, contributing greatly to the overall development of the region and the country as a whole.

Addressing the challenges to the development of the city, Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung said that the trend of increasing population places huge pressure on HCMC’s infrastructure, especially in terms of traffic and housing. Therefore, population management and control is the greatest challenge. He also said that the role of a nation’s economic locomotive requires HCMC to develop at high growth but with sustainability.

Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue pointed out that there are two emerging issues as the growth of the city is not commensurate with its potential and the overloaded infrastructure hinders the realisation of economic objectives, as well as affecting the lives of local people as traffic jams, floods, and environmental pollution are becoming increasingly severe.

"It is necessary to have a special and outstanding mechanism and policy for the city, if not, the pace of development would slow down significantly," Deputy PM Hue said and suggested that the city focuses on a number of projects turning it into a financial centre, attracting multinational corporations based in the city, developing culture, and restructuring tourism and services.

According to Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh, firstly, the city needs to develop its internal strength and creativity with breakthrough measures, plus specific mechanisms and policies to help boost development. He agreed that it was necessary to provide strong delegation to the city, allowing it to deploy specific mechanisms in a number of key areas.

Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan said that in the past 40 years, HCMC has been the nation’s largest urban area in terms of population and economic scale. Its economic growth is around 1.5 times the size of the whole country. However, in the last ten years, the superiority of the city over the whole nation in certain areas has slowed down, even to the point of lagging behind. After 30 years of doi moi, the mechanisms and policies for HCMC’s development are not different from other localities. However, due to the typical characteristics and advantages, in such a common condition, the city has developed strongly and surpassed others.

However, the city’s typical characteristics are also with duality. On the one hand, the large population, that has been increasing continuously for more than 40 years, is a huge human resource for the city’s development; but on the other hand, a high densities that is 15-20 times higher than that of the whole country’s average and GDP/km2 30-40 times higher than the national average, make traffic demand per square kilometre, as well as demand for clean water, waste treatment, schooling and medical care, become a dozen fold higher that the country’s average. Addressing these issues requires an investment per a unit of area a dozen fold higher than the country's average figure.

To develop faster and more sustainably, Secretary Nhan proposed four main special mechanisms for HCMC, including strengthening decentralisation, financial autonomy, pay based on productivity and efficiency; and consolidating organisation for the Steering Committees of the southern key economic zone and the HCMC metropolitan area.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosts a working session with HCM City authorities on maximising delegation to the city in order to facilitate its development, Hanoi, September 6. (Credit: NDO/Tran Hai)

Expressing his support for the solutions and directions set by the HCMC Party Committee, PM Phuc said that it is necessary to focus on exploiting the city’s potential and advantages in economics, trade and investment to serve local socio-economic development.

He suggested reviewing, amending and supplementing the development plans in the area, especially focusing on infrastructure development in line with the city's socio-economic development plan for 2025-2030, which requires more effective land use planning and more effective policies to promote regional development and regional integration, focusing on infrastructure links.

The government top leader proposed to strengthen the mobilisation of resources for development investment, focusing on private and foreign investment amidst limited State resources, while boosting social development commensurate with economic growth, with a focus on human resource development. Ho Chi Minh City must be in the highest ranking group and take the lead in improving the investment and business environment, contributing to raising national competitiveness, the PM stressed.

PM Phuc agreed that specific mechanisms and policies should be developed for HCMC to develop rapidly and sustainably, in which he insisted that decentralisation should be at the maximum level in order to promote initiatives and creativity for the city in terms of local socio-economic executive management. For matters related to the authority of the National Assembly or newly arising issues, it is critical to make proposals at the highest level for the pilot run, he added.

The PM stated that promoting decentralisation for HCMC is in the direction of allowing the city to carry out several tasks within the responsibility of ministry level in approval of a number of projects or in adjustment of certain types of planning, as well as in implementation of a number of tasks and powers falling into the authority of ministries and the Government in the locality.