The Ministry of Transport has reviewed and halted construction on 68 State budget and Government bond-funded projects with a combined budget of over VND1.2 trillion (US$58.6 million).
Projects axed or delayed include sections of National Highway 14 through the Central Highlands cities of Kon Tum, Pleiku, and Buon Ma Thuot, the Chon Thanh-Duc Hoa and Nam Can-Dat Mui road projects, and National Highway 32's Dien-Nhon and Nghia Lo-Vach Kim sections.
National Highway 6 connecting Tuan Giao and Lai Chau, National Highway 3 running through Thai Nguyen Province, the Lim-Pha Lai-Yen Vien-Lim railway, and updgrades to the Viet Tri-Tuyen Quang water transport route were also trimmed.
The funds saved would be transferred to other projects that have been given priority this year, including flood prevention projects, said the head of the ministry's administrative office, Nguyen Van Cong.
"The capital will also be used to pay for land clearance of approved projects and continue urgent construction," Cong said.
The ministry has asked State-owned enterprises to review businesses' plans, control production costs, and inspect the prices of transportation services. Project management boards and investors have also been ordered to closely control imports of equipment and materials and maximise the use of domestic equipment in order to help reduce the nation's ballooning trade deficit.
The ministry earlier proposed that the Ministry of Planning and Investment approve an additional budget of VND6.8 trillion ($331 million) for the Lang-Hoa Lac highway, Noi Bai-Lao Cai highway and some projects in Cao Bang, Nghe An and Thanh Hoa provinces. However, the proposal was rejected by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Cao Viet Sinh who said the Government was determined to cut public spending and that the Ministry of Transport needed to arrange alternative funding on its own.
He suggested that the Ministry of Transport could simply transfer about VND1.7 trillion ($82.9 million) in budget funds among projects. — VNS