|Online tax processing at Thai Nguyen Trade and Investment JSC. The CIEM said surveyed businesses highly appreciated the government's efforts in administrative reform in tax filings and payment and customs procedures. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung
HA NOI (VNS) — Improvements in the business environment of Viet Nam remained below expectations although the Resolution 19/NQ-CP has been in implementation for six months, a conference heard yesterday.
The conference also suggested comprehensive efforts to be made from central to local levels to create breakthroughs.
Nguyen Dinh Cung, director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), said that the promulgation of the resolution in March created opportunities for Viet Nam to improve the business environment and enhance national competitiveness in line with international criteria for the first time.
However, the results after six months of implementation were disappointing from the perspective of the business community, which might erode their confidence in the government, Cung said, adding that the lack of abidance of ministries and government's agencies was among the causes.
As of Wednesday, the Ministry of Planning and Investment received reports of only four ministries and organisations together with three provinces and cities about the implementation of the resolution although reports were required to be submitted quarterly.
Findings of the three-month survey by the CIEM revealed that feelings of businesses about improvements of the business environment were not as good as expected. The CIEM said surveyed businesses highly appreciated the government's efforts in administrative reform in tax filings and payment and customs procedures. However, businesses felt that tax filing time was cut just by 110 hours or 20 per cent while the Ministry of Finance reported that the tax filing time was cut from 537 hours in 2014 to currently 117 hours, and even beyond the resolution's target of 171 hours.
The difference was attributed to inconsistent policies, the CIEM said.
In response, a representative from the General Department of Taxation said that the finance ministry's calculations were based on criteria of the World Bank with constancy from experts. The CIEM also pointed out existing problems in tax refunds, dissolving procedures, companies' failures in keeping updated with policy changes and slow technology renovations.
In addition, specialised examinations for customs clearance were costly and inefficient, according to the CIEM, citing that businesses did not see many improvements in reform of specialised examinations in term of time, procedures and cost.
Cung said that the co-ordination among ministries and Government organisations remained weak, reflecting the slow reforms in sectors which required joint efforts. — VNS