A total of VNĐ4 trillion (US$164 million) from the 2023 central budget reserve is expected to be allocated to 13 localities of the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta for erosion countermeasures, according to a document submitted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) to the Prime Minister.
Addressing riverbank and coastal erosion in the Cửu Long (Mekong Delta) is an urgent issue and a focus of the Government, Deputy Prime Minister Lê Minh Khái told a meeting with ministerial leaders on Thursday evening on the matter.
It is a priority to protect people’s lives and assets, said the Deputy PM.
Discussions have been held to decide on options to allocate the annual central budget reserve for projects countering erosion in the delta, which has witnessed significant effects of climate change and rising sea levels.
PM Phạm Minh Chính also visited eight localities in the delta to survey the situation, while the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) was in charge of the other five provinces.
For areas outside of the delta, Deputy PM Khái requested ministries and sectors to review and determine the erosion consequences and use appropriate sources to mitigate the issues.
|Deputy Prime Minister Lê Minh Khái chaired the meeting with ministerial leaders on Thursday evening. — VNA/VNS Photo An Đăng|
The MARD and the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) have agreed on a list of projects receiving financial support.
Deputy PM Khái said that the two ministries need to work with relevant stakeholders to complete the support plans and the specific amount of funding given to these projects in alignment with regulations and the government’s directions.
The funding allocation needs to be prompt and effective, he added.
The Deputy PM underlined that beneficiaries should be urgent projects for which the local budget reserve was not sufficient.
He also stressed project feasibility to avoid the case where projects are approved but then fail to clear the site and are forced to return the funding.
The MPI has been assigned to lead and coordinate project proposals among ministries to ensure focus, priority, effectiveness and comprehensive implementation in accordance with the State budget law and related regulations.
Agriculture and rural development deputy minister Nguyễn Hoàng Hiệp said that the MARD agreed to the MPI report, including the process, guiding principles and categories.
Among the eight localities that the PM visited, Vĩnh Long Province changed the initial project proposal.
Meanwhile, four out of five provinces surveyed by the MARD agreed to the funding allocation.
The remaining province is Long An, which proposed a VNĐ250 billion ($10.25 million) project in its Cần Giuộc District.
The MARD field inspection team said that the project has not reached the scale for such an amount of funding, and required that this budget be divided into two projects.
According to the MPI document, the Mekong Delta’s 13 localities also submitted reports detailing the urgency and priority of the projects, and are committed to completing the procedures for investment and capital disbursement according to the Law on Public Investment and State budget law.
The MPI report also meets the requirements per the State budget law, said a representative of the Ministry of Justice.
Source: Vietnam News