The government has set the reserve price at 400 billion dong (US$25 million) for the auction of commercial toll collection rights to a highway 51 linking HCM City and neigh boring Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.
In a statement recently released by the government office, deputy prime minister Nguyen Sinh Hung agreed on the auction requirements prepared by the Vietnam Development Bank. Hung said in the statement that the starting price for the auction to transfer the toll collection rights to National Highway 51 is 400 billion dong and that the toll collection would last seven years and six months.
The winning bidder will be required to complete full payment within 10 days after the date of the contract becoming effective. Last August, deputy PM Hung instructed the Vietnam Development Bank to cooperate with the transport ministry to auction the toll collection rights to the highway, which also links HCM City and Ba Ria-Vung Tau with Dong Nai Province.
The decision is aimed at helping the transport ministry clear debts as well as revoke funds used to finance other infrastructure development projects. Any additional monies could then be partially used by the transport ministry to payoff debts incurred by other road projects like Highway 51, Road 14 and Lang Hoa Lac as well as finance the maintenance of Highway 51.
The auction is scheduled this quarter and will be open to all companies nationwide, which want to take over the toll collection rights to the 73-kilometres highway, which was built at a total cost of 620 billion dong (US$38. 75 million).
An official from the transport ministry said this was a new fund raising channel the ministry could increasingly resort to when it came to raising funds for other infrastructure projects of national significance. This form of capital mobilisation will better help the ministry reduce revenue losses.
The government has also asked the transport ministry to join forces-with the Ministry of Finance to develop a scheme to auction the toll collection rights to HCM City Trung Luong Expressway, which is under construction.
* The government has issued a decree decentralising the licensing of projects under build-operate-transfer (BOT), build-transfer -operate (BTO) and build-transfer (BT) forms to ministries, and city and provincial authorities.
Under Decree 78/2007/ND-CP released last week, ministries, government agencies and centrally-governed cities and provinces are empowered to approve projects involving local and international investors and developed under BOT, BTO and BT forms.
The current regulations require all BOT, BTO and BT projects to be sent to the Ministry of Planning and Investment and other relevant ministries and agencies before they are submitted to the prime minister for approval.
The new decree has also set financial requirements for project developers. Developers must have their equity equivalent to at least 30% of the total cost of a project worth up to 75 billion dong (US$4.68 million), 20% for a project valued at up to 1.5 trillion dong (US$93.75 million) and 10% for a project capitalised at more than 1.5 trillion dong.