The Ministry of Planning and Investment is drafting a circular in a bid to reclaim its role as manager of foreign direct investment (FDI) capital after the job has been delegated to provincial authorities for many years.
Under the draft circular, the ministry will tighten supervision on compliance with legal regulations concerning the grant of investment certificates at State management agencies, including ministries and local governments.
Moreover, the ministry will inspect the implementation of the foreign-invested projects in Vietnam.
Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh highlighted the main objective of the circular is to ensure effectiveness of the regulations on FDI enterprises and projects.
In addition, supervision will help detect inadequacies and wrongdoings for timely remedy or adjustments of laws and policies on foreign investment, and for handling violations in accordance with the law.
The ministry will exercise supervision by launching inspections or request FDI enterprises to send their reports.
This move of the planning ministry, according to economists, is to reclaim its right to supervise investment capital, which was dispersed after the government issued Decree 108 in 2006, transferring the right to manage investment from the ministry to provincial authorities.
Although the decree gets supported by analysts, it has turned the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the planning ministry into an FDI statistics office, instead of a State management agency. Still, even collecting statistics is a hard job for the agency.
A report of the National Assembly (NA) Economic Committee shows that there was a gap of some $3.8 billion between the data of FIA and tSTC of some central provinces in July 2008. Later, in December 2008, FIA reported $64 billion in total pledged FDI, $7 billion lower than the actual figure.
Also, according to the report of the economic committee, FIA has detected several projects licensed by the local authorities but were not listed in the comprehensive reports that the localities submitted to the planning ministry.
Many FDI projects are also licensed not in conformity with the planning.
For example, Ba Ria-Vung Tau has licensed 18 steel projects, exceeding 6-7 projects regulated by the planning ministry.
The report of the NA Economic Committee blamed such a situation on the Ministry of Planning and Investment. The report stressed decentralisation inconsistent with the capabilities of subordinates and rapid and excessive decentralisation without inspection and guidelines of the central agencies are posing great management problems at present.