(VNS) National Assembly deputies want the Government to give a clear answer for major issues facing the economy, Dr Cao Sy Kiem told the newspaper Viet Nam Economic Times.
In your opinion, what are people and enterprises expecting from the upcoming sixth session of the National Assembly full house meeting?
We all feel the pulse of the difficult economy. As a result, both people and enterprises are waiting to see if the upcoming NA meeting will work out measures to solve this situation. They want the deputies to come up with specific solutions!
When I spoke to voters in my constituency, all the enterprises and people expressed their anxiety about what is happening despite the fact that the government has issued various policies to stimulate the economy. They said they were looking forward to the sixth meeting of the National Assembly and hoped the government would give them the answers to their questions.
What are the most important issues on which the people are waiting for answers from the government?
I think there are questions that people have for the government.
First, why is our country's economy is getting worse and worse? Following Viet Nam's accession to the WTO, the gap between our economy and those in the region widened and widened.
Other economies in the region have already been restored, but not us. Why?
According to the ADB, in 2012, Brunei's economic growth was 0.9 per cent against 3.4 per cent in 2011 and Singapore's was 1.3 per cent against 5.2 per cent.
Other remaining ASEAN economies (except Viet Nam) all scored better growth in 2012. For example, Myanmar's growth rate was 7.6 per cent against 5.6 per cent and Cambodia's was 7.1 per cent against 7.3 per cent.
All our official documents attribute the situation to two reasons: the global economic downturn in 2007-08 and our internal weakness.
Vu Khoan, former Deputy Prime Minister, and other experts did not agree with such arguments. They reasoned that the global economy had seen progress, reflected in the increasing of our exports and foreign direct investment in our country. However, the internal factor is still a problem.
The second question relates to the government's stimulus policy for enterprises. The results were not as expected and many small and medium enterprises are still performing poorly. Why?
Is that because our policies are inappropriate? Or because of enterprises' own weaknesses? It is imperative to find out answers to these questions if we want to help businesses stand up again.
I want to mention the government here as well. We all know that the government has adopted a proactive attitude, but how far the government will go to actually resolve problems is still an open question.
Facing such a situation, what should the National Assembly do?
In my opinion, the National Assembly has to take a strong stand toward the government on how well policies have been implemented, particularly the execution of the stimulus package of VND 30 trillion ($1.4 billion), the handling of bad debt and high inventories.
The National Assembly should closely monitor the implementation of commitments made by ministries and sectors. This is a good way to restore the people's confidence.
In addition, the NA should examine lessons learned from the current status of the economic restructuring process. This is very important for our country at present.
In all socio-economic reports, the government always says everything is going fine and "this year is better than the previous year".
I don't think the people believe in such a conclusion. That's why I want the National Assembly, in the coming session, to give a comprehensive explanation to dispel the people's suspicions and help restore their confidence.
What are your thoughts on the present economic condition of Viet Nam?
Based on figures released by the government, I can say there have been some positive signs in our economy, particularly in the third quarter. For example, the inflation rate has been cut. So has the interest rate. Meanwhile the foreign reserve is on the rise and the foreign exchange rate is stabilised.
What's more important is that commodity prices are operating by market mechanisms. All these signals are an indication of the development of a sustainable economy. However, are the figures provided by the government reliable? This is an open-ended question. — VNS