Monday, December 5 2016

VietNamNews

Public debt must be reduced

Update: November, 29/2016 - 10:27
Trần Hoàng Ngân

Associate Professor Trần Hoàng Ngân, a member of the National Assembly Economics Commission, tells the Giáo dục Việt Nam (Việt Nam Education) e-newspaper that he is confident the Government will implement in full the Politburo Resolution on managing public assets and public investment.

Can you explain the significance of the Politburo’s Resolution on the need to restructure the State Budget, including improved management of public debt?

The Resolution is timely, responding to the people’s aspirations and the urgent need to restructure the State Budget. How to use public assets and public investments in an efficient way has been a burning issue in the country for many years now.

At a full house meeting last October, National Assembly deputies spent a lot of time discussing the issues. Resolution No.07 is a reflection of the Party’s resolve to bring public debt under control

What will ministries and other agencies do to implement the Resolution?

The document listed many things that must be done, but here, I just want to mention one very important task – to evaluate correctly the weaknesses and limitations in the State Budget restructuring process; to find out what are the main reasons for the spikes in regular spending while capital expenditure is being reduced.

The limitations and weaknesses have led to an increase in public debt and overspending, and are pushing it closer to the ceiling.

Resolution No.07 also calls on all government agencies and offices to strictly implement the State’s fiscal policy and rules while practising thrift and fighting against wastage.

The National Assembly has also set out strong requirements. For example, by 2020, the Government debt should be set to 54 per cent (of the GDP) – one percent lower than the target set in the Party’s Resolution. This is a demonstration of the National Assembly’s resolve to put the Party Politburo’s document into practice.

What steps should the Government take?

The most important task is to develop quality human resources and utilise the larger society’s capital resources. Public investment should only act as an opener.

So the Government has to issue policies to tap all possible resources, including funds from different economic sectors.

Even more important, the Government should utilize and make the best use of the country’s available resources, including land, other natural resources and public assets.

Last but not least, the Government should force any State economic group and corporation that has been operating at a loss for many years to either dissolve or divest from non-core operations.

I’m sure that if all these actions are undertaken, we’ll be able to protect and ensure a sound economy, State Budget and public debt.

In his address before the NA, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc reiterated several times that his Government was going to be one of constructive action. So I’m confident that the Government will do all it can to turn the resolutions of the Party Poliburo and the National Assembly into reality, particularly in public debt management and restructuring the State Budget.

Since the Resolution is also popular among the people, addressing their concerns, I am sure it will be carried out well, in the right spirit. VNS

 

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