Bui Duc Thu, member of the National Assembly's Financial and Budget Committee talks with Hai Quan (Customs) newspaper about budget overspending.
How do you evaluate the budget's regular expenditure which has happened for many years?
In 2015, regular expenditure accounts for 67 per cent of the total expense of the budget. The percentage is forecast to reduce by 3 per cent next year. I think this was a good sign. However, there are many difficulties to the State Budget in coming years.
Next year, the State budget is still burdened by the pressure of paying debt and high demand of development investment.
In 2016, the State budget will have to pay VND28 billion (US$1.24 million) on reform of basic salary and VND17 billion (US$755,500) for the change of the poverty line.
Therefore, the over-expense of the State Budget is foreseeable. The over-expense and public debt will affect the macro-economic development and the national financial security.
Do you think saving money from organising events, festivities and overseas tours is the best solution for this situation?
Since 2015, the National Assembly has had a solution for this issue. The NA had asked the Government to instruct ministries, localities and related offices to realise the resolution.
In the situation of the limited budget, the target of saving 10 per cent of the regular expenditure from the State Budget is necessary.
In 2016, the budget will save 30 per cent more from cutting off organising several events, festivities and overseas tours.
To gradually create a healthy financial system, especially a healthy State Budget, it is necessary to review and tighten ineffective and unnecessary expenditure. This can be done by tight fiscal and management policies. It should clearly define the responsibilities of the heads of organisations which are discovered causing wasted money in expenditure.
What measure do you think the Government should do to overcome the situation?
As I said it is necessary to reduce the regular expenditure. First of all, the Government should cut expenses on State administrative management through streamlining the State and Government apparatus. It is because the salaries paid for the employees in the State-and Government-owned agencies account for a big share in the State budget.
However, during the last three years, the numbers of white-collar staff have not reduced as expected and the Government has not yet had a measure to solve the issue.
In my opinion, the Government should launch a programme to re-train the staff or give them financial support to retire earlier. — VNS