|Japanese-invested company Kosei Multipack Viet Nam Co., Ltd in northern Vinh Phuc Province. The country's gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to grow by 5.4 per cent this year, just under the target of 5.5 per cent. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
HA NOI (VNS) — Lawmakers yesterday focused on economic growth while discussing three topics: the socio-economic situation this year, the results of the first three-year implementation of the five-year plan 2011-15, and the Government's tasks for 2014-15.
According to a Government report, among 15 targets ratified by the National Assembly for 2013, 11 were achieved beyond expectations, two missed by a small margin and another two were not accomplished.
The national gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to grow by 5.4 per cent by the year's end compared to the set target of 5.5 per cent. The nation has created about 1.54 million jobs, 60,000 less than planned.
Deputy Tran Du Lich said that GDP growth was not expected to reach the planned rate, but the Government should not rush to increase it because this might cause inflation to rise.
He added that macro-economic stabilisation should still be the top priority for the Government from now until the end of 2015.
He agreed with the Government report that inflation would be kept at 7 per cent.
He said the Government proposed to increase next year's budget overspending rate to 5.3 per cent, but it should only be a temporary solution.
He said the important thing was to tackle difficulties in raising credit growth. If it did not reach 15 per cent, it would be hard for the economy to escape recession.
Deputy Nguyen Thi Kha from southern Tra Vinh Province said that while the country's economic growth had been slowing, other countries in the ASEAN region had seen an improvement, such as Myanmar.
Deputy Tran Hoang Ngan from HCM City said he appreciated the Government's efforts to boost the socio-economic development, saying that despite the world economic recession, Viet Nam's export sector still rose by 15-16 per cent.
He added that the trade deficit had been reduced in the last two years and was now estimated to be under US$1 billion.
However, he expressed concerns over the rise of budget overspending, the unemployment situation, the frozen real-estate market and the inefficiency of public investment.
Deputy Tran Trong Nghia from HCM City asked why the trade deficit had fallen and if this was good for the economy, suggesting the Government do some deep analysis.
In the report, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the Government would strive to attain an average growth rate of 6 per cent per year; GDP per capita reaching US$2,200-2,300 by 2015; CPI increasing 7 per cent per year; and exports growing by 10 per cent per year.
In 2014 alone, economic growth has been set of at about 5.8 per cent and the CPI increased by nearly 7 per cent on this year's figures.
However, in the Economics Committee's report on the assessment of the implementation of the NA's resolution on socio-economic development during 2011-13 and the plan for 2014, its chairman Nguyen Van Giau quoted some deputies as saying that economic growth next year should stand at 5.5 per cent and the CPI rise by 6 per cent.
Based on the socio-economic results of the past three years and the State budget, most deputies of the committee agreed that the average economic growth in the next two years would be hard to reach 6.5-7 per cent per year and that it would be difficult to keep State budget overspending under 4.5 per cent of GDP.
Deputy Nguyen Van Phuc from central Ha Tinh Province proposed the establishment of a national committee for economic restructuring which would include representatives of the Government, National Assembly and experts.
Chairman of the NA's Economics Committee Nguyen Van Giau said most State-owned enterprises had plans to restructure, but in reality, little progress had been made. "The slower the process, the more serious the consequences," he said.
Ngan from HCM City said it was necessary to create confidence among the public by keeping interest rates stable so that people felt secure when borrowing for businesses and production.
Many lawmakers agreed that under the current situation, if people's confidence was raised, it would be easier to mobilise capital from the private sector to develop the economy. — VNS