Friday,  Apr 19, 2019,21:52 (GMT+7) 0 0
Over VND2.2 trillion needed to pay metro contractors before Tet
The Saigon Times Daily
Friday,  Jan 18, 2019,18:33 (GMT+7)

Over VND2.2 trillion needed to pay metro contractors before Tet

The Saigon Times Daily

An elevated section of the city’s first metro line – Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien – PHOTO: THANH HOA

HCMC – The HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) has proposed the HCMC People’s Committee and the HCMC Finance Department advance VND2.245 trillion (US$97 million) from the city’s budget to make overdue payments to the contractors of the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line.

MAUR stated in its proposal that the local government had allocated VND1 trillion from its own budget to make payments for the city’s first metro line last year.

Meanwhile, the contractors demanded a total of VND2.481 trillion in overdue payments, which should be sourced from official development assistance (ODA) funds. As of late this month, only an estimated VND236 billion was scheduled to be paid to them.

MAUR urged the municipal government to approve the proposal urgently, prior to the Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet.

The city government has used its own budget to advance payments worth a combined VND3.273 trillion for the first metro line since September 2016.

Upon the completion of legal procedures to adjust the total investment in the project, MAUR and the local government will work together to submit a proposal to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, where the extra investment will be sought to offset the city’s budget, due to its previous capital advances.

The project requires a total investment of VND9.502 trillion this year, according to MAUR.

Chairman of HCMC Nguyen Thanh Phong told the local media early this year that work on the first metro line had been 61% complete.

Metro lines are of great significance as they help address the needs for travel and cargo transportation among residents and develop the modern transport systems of the city, according to Phong.

The city leader stressed that the first metro line plays a vital role in relations between Vietnam and Japan. He also expected the line to enter service in 2020.

Launched in August 2012 as the first line of the city’s metro system, the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien line will stretch 19.7 kilometers, mostly above ground, and connect the city center with its eastern districts and the outlying district of Di An in the neighboring Binh Duong Province. It is expected to begin operations in 2020, two years later than originally planned.

In 2009, the HCMC People’s Committee approved the total investment of the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line at VND17.388 trillion (US$750 million). The fund now has been revised up to VND47.325 trillion (US$2.04 billion).

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