The chairman of HCM City People’s Committee Nguyễn Thành Phong has asked the Prime Minister for permission to borrow VNĐ2.15 trillion (US$93.5 million) from the central government to pay contractors who are building Metro Line No 1.
The Metro Line 1 extends from Bến Thành Market in District 1 to Suối Tiên Tourist Park in District 9.
“The payment will help the project run in line with the plan, and it would help to avoid complaints and lawsuits about debts,” Phong wrote in his letter.
He said the city would repay the money to the central government after the Ministry of Planning and Investment provides fund for the project.
Phong also suggested that if the Government cannot provide the city with the money from the central budget the Prime Minister should allow the city to use the funds from the city’s budget instead for the metro.
According to current regulations on advance payments for investment projects, the Metro Line Number 1 project does not meet requirements to get money in advance from the city’s budget, and can only receive funds from the central government’s budget.
Due to the urgency of the project, the city said it hoped to receive approval from the Prime Minister.
The Metro Line Number 1 project uses funding from ODA and funds arranged by the central government, while corresponding capital has come from the city’s budget.
According to the capital plan for 2016 -2020, the project was slated to receive VNĐ7.5 trillion ($326 million) of its total investment capital of VNĐ20.5 trillion ($891 million).
The city received VNĐ2.7 trillion ($117.5 million) in 2016 and 2017.
In 2018, total investment was expected to increase, but funds could not be provided until the additional investment was approved.