Chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc told Dau Tu (Vietnam Investment Review) Newspaper that progress was being made on administrative reforms.
How would you evaluate the process to cut down on administrative procedures of ministries and sectors in an attempt to improve the trade environment?
The procedures were expedited in the past two months. The Prime Minister has directly encouraged us to get this done in meetings with agencies on taxation, customs, construction, and natural resources and the environment.
Ministries and sectors have proposed detailed plans with the number of hours cut down considerably. That means the feasibility of such plans is rather high. What matters now is the determination to implement them.
For instance, the Ministry of Finance has proposed that the Government amend its decree to expand the subjects eligible for the filing of taxation forms to every quarter instead of every month.
Another proposed amendment will allow enterprises to submit their income tax form every year instead of every quarter. Such solutions will help to cut nearly 90 hours of administrative procedures.
The amendment of circulars on the submission of Value Added Tax (VAT), enterprises' income tax and personal income tax that cut down on unnecessary steps will help to remove 201 hours of procedures for enterprises.
For enterprises that are eligible for the filing of electronic taxation forms in the future, the taxation sector will be able to cut 300 hours of procedures every year.
The finance sector has been thought to be quite slow in cutting administrative procedures, but as we can see from the proposals above, they can do it. It will be even more feasible for other sectors.
But such procedures can only be cut if the solutions are conducted comprehensively and aggressively. Is it difficult?
I don't think it's difficult with taxation procedures. Most of the procedures to be cut are proposed by the tax sector itself. Newly-established enterprises or those in remote areas might have difficulties, so they will need support.
With other sectors such as the customs sector, it will be more complicated because they will need to co-ordinate with other agencies such as the goods quality control unit and environment management unit.
The re-examination of procedures of the customs sector revealed that 40 per cent of the documents require the examination of imports and exports, but most of these documents do not include detailed instructions on the steps to be taken to carry out the examination.
So, the amount of time that can be cut will depend on co-ordination in the re-examination of documents and the crafting of a detailed plan for cutting administrative procedures. Thus, VCCI is proposing the amendment of relevant legal documents.
Can you elaborate on this?
Every six months, VCCI will re-examine all relevant legal documents so it can propose amendments to these documents to the Government and the National Assembly. We can even amend documents that have recently been amended if unnecessary procedures still exist.
We do hope that in 2015, Viet Nam will join the ASEAN Economic Community as a country in the leading list of those with attractive investment environments. Currently, we are still behind other countries in the region in this field.
The cutting of administrative procedures not only saves us time and money, but also reduces the risks of enterprises and enables them to focus fully on finding trade opportunities. — VNS