The railway of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro section, a project funded by ODA loans. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Only VND6.3 trillion ($271.7 million), or 45.5 percent of official development assistance funds has been spent so far this year.
Only four out of the country’s 63 provinces and cities, Hanoi, the central province of Binh Dinh and the southern provinces of Tay Ninh and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, achieved a spending rate of over 70 percent, according to the Ministry of Finance.
The reasons cited for the delay include the Covid-19 outbreak, which impeded construction work, and natural disasters.
Changes to some projects that required administrative work also contributed.
The ministry wants government agencies to speed up administrative work related to investment, construction, relocation of people whose lands are acquired for public works, and land clearance.
ODA providers should cut red tape to speed up the disbursement process, it said.
The government expected ODA funds to play a key role in boosting growth this year as the economy was buffeted by the impacts of the pandemic.
But in the first half of the year, 22 provinces and cities were not able to spend a single dong from their ODA allocation since they were unable to mobilize counterpart funds for land acquisition.