Ho Chi Minh City’s very first metro line was originally planned to be completed by 2020 but this might be delayed because of the scarcity of funds. This might be a disappointment to business in the city including luxury hotel in Saigon considering it is what the tourists are waiting for.
According to the HCMC Urban Railways Management Authority, they have been pleading to the city to not touch the budget they have already allotted because they will need it to pay off the contractors for the completed parts for the railway.
The department’s deputy director, Hoang Nhu Cuong, said that the city have already given them VND 1 trillion budget for the railway project in order for the construction to resume. The part contractors are already done and the total cost has come up to VND 2 trillion. The problem is that the city was only able to give the department VND 220 billion. They do not have the permission to use the government funding without getting an approval from the National Assembly first.
It is a major national project and the approval is needed before the government can decide on anything financially. While they are waiting for the approval, the Ministry of Planning and Investment said that it is not worth making a capital assessment along with investment disbursement surveys at the moment.
The railway management unit said that because of the progress the project is taking, they might not be able to stick with the original deadline they have promised. In order for the metro line to be completed, they need VND 5 trillion. HCMC is the main investor for the project thereby its failure to pay the contractors could mean bad things for the project.
In the event that one contractor pulls away from the project, they would need to conduct another bidding process in order to replace the contractor and this process takes time. As of the moment, over 50 per cent of the project is already finished. Despite the delay, tourists are booking luxury hotel in Saigon because of the place and the culture.