HA NOI — The Government will continue to place top priority for the remainder of this year on keeping inflation in check and stabilising the macro-economy, said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the monthly cabinet meeting, held by teleconference, in the capital city yesterday.
|Workers classifying shrimp at a Fimex Viet Nam Co processing plant in the southern province of Soc Trang. — VNA/VNS Photo An Dang
Reviewing the performance of the nation's economy in the first half of the year, cabinet members took note of positive development in all economic sectors. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by about 4.38 per cent during the period, with a slightly higher pace in the second quarter.
Exports totalled more than US$53 billion, an increase of 22.2 per cent over the same period last year. The agricultural sector saw stable development, growing at a rate of 3.8 per cent.
In the first half, the Government introduced several measures to help boost production, including a reduction of interest rates. The State Bank of Viet Nam lowered the cap on deposit interest rates offered by commercial banks from 14 per cent to 9 per cent a year.
Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh highlighted the need to continue trade promotion efforts to solve the problem of excessive inventories.
Since the meeting was a teleconference, local government leaders from provinces and cities nationwide were able to participate in the discussion. They came up with a number of proposals intended to help enterprises overcome difficulties, and many urged advances be made from the 2013 State budget to help urgent projects be completed this year.
Dung concluded the meeting by vowing the Government would continue to pursue all objectives set out early in the year.
"Priorities of controlling inflation and keeping economic stability are not only in place this year but will remain priorities in coming years," Dung said.
Viet Nam would target a reasonable growth rate this year of between 5.2-5.7 per cent, he said.
Dung has ordered the State Bank to continue to adopt flexible and proactive policies to help enterprises and farmers access credit.
"Credit priorities should be given to agriculture, rural development, export manufacturers, sub-contractors, small and medium enterprises and enterprises employing many people," Dung said.
The Prime Minister has also asked the Ministry of Finance to closely monitor the money supply and keep the budget deficit under control.
During the two-day meeting, cabinet members also discussed options to reduce corporate income taxes and value-added taxes on struggling businesses.
At the meeting, cabinet members also discussed a draft national strategy on environmental protection through 2020 with a vision to 2030 and a statement on the draft Law Against Terrorism and the draft Law on Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.
At a press conference after the meeting, Minister Vu Duc Dam, chairman of the Government Office, said electricity prices in the long term would be adjusted according to market mechanisms to encourage enterprises to boost production.
He said the adjustments would be public and transparent and would not affect the disadvantaged. If they did, assistance would be given.
Regarding restructuring of State-owned enterprises, he said they would focus on their major and entrusted production and trading sector. They would have to keep withdrawing capital from the fields of banking, insurance, stock and real estate which are not their forte.
He said all this was regulated in the Government's amended Decree 132/2005/ND-CP.
This decree also clearly defined the responsibility of relevant ministries for the operation of State-owned enterprises.
He said the Government also entrusted the Ministry of Planning and Investment to study setting up a ministry-level organisation on enterprise management.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance is also drafting a project on setting up an agency to manage State funds in State-owned enterprises and supervise trading activities. — VNS