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Deputy PM answers questions on economic growth and restructuring

Update: June, 15/2013 - 09:12
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) and Procurator General Nguyen Hoa Binh at the 13th National Assembly's Q&A sessions yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sang

HA NOI (VNS)— Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has declared that economic restructuring, especially of State groups and the banking system, has led to positive results for Viet Nam.

Speaking at the 13th National Assembly's (NA) Q&A session yesterday, Phuc also pledged that critical measures would continue to be implemented to enhance the country's global standing.

However, his view was not shared by all, with Nguyen Ba Thuyen of Lam Dong Province and Tran Du Lich of HCM City among several NA deputies to suggest that restructuring is taking place more slowly than expected.

Phuc though defended the progress that had been made, citing the issuance of a government decree preventing ineffective public investment; the critical reform of nine commercial banks with better liquidation capability; and the equitisation of 16 top enterprises as examples of recent reform achievements.

He stated that speedy reform was not realistic, as many factors beyond the Government's control were slowing the pace, such as the need of participation by all industries and sectors and volatility in the world markets.

He reassured the lawmakers that major reform was still underway, with the Government's mid-term planning until 2015 and the on-going equitisation of State enterprises. Inspections of these companies would be intensified to prevent potential losses, he added.

Deputy Le Nhu Tien from Quang Tri Province questioned the need for the State to rescue and restructure failing companies rather than allowing them to go bankrupt. He gave the examples of Vinashin and Vinalines, which between them lost tens of trillions of dong.

Phuc acknowledged that ineffective management at these companies had caused huge losses for the State. However, he argued that restructuring them would certainly bring more long-term benefits than letting them shut down. He pointed out that bankruptcy would leave the State responsible for paying all their debts and would cause a setback in the country's long-lasting shipbuilding industry.

He confirmed that nine leaders of Vinashin, including general director Pham Thanh Binh, are under investigation. The company had been extensively restructured, with 216 of its sections closing down and 36 others being reorganised.

About 170 vessels have been built and sold in the past three years. Among them, 66 vessels worth US$1.215 billion have been exported.

Meanwhile, Vinalines has finished the equitisation of its four enterprises and has decided on its final restructuring plan.

The Deputy PM ended his answer by arguing that although these two groups are still loss-making, it is necessary to believe in their progress, especially when the world market recovers.

Regarding the country's economic growth, Pham Tat Thang of Vinh Long Province questioned why the Government was not looking for quick solutions to the current stunt in growth.

Phuc replied that it would be meaningless to chase high economic growth without first ensuring that the inflation rate remained low and would not have a negative effect on the lives of the people.

He said that Viet Nam's economic growth should be stable, healthy and sustainable and so the Government always followed a policy of working towards higher economic growth and a lower inflation rate.

He called on industries and sectors to continue implementing their tasks of socio-economic development by removing barriers for production, boosting trading activities and giving necessary support for farmers and suppliers.

State bonds would be issued in the near future to collect funds for urgent projects such as National Highways 1A and 14B, he said.

Deputy Nguyen Nhu Lam of Long An Province said agriculture played an important role in economic growth. However, farmers were facing difficulties in producing and selling their products when the prices of inputs were on the increase, poultry smuggling via borders was still widespread and product prices were controlled by traders.

Phuc answered by saying the relevant agencies had been entrusted to actively ensure sources for cattle feed and other necessary materials for farmers; tighten measures to prevent smuggling activities, control farm markets to avoid the manipulation of private traders and help farmers apply modern technology.

Justice sector

Procurator General Nguyen Hoa Binh of the Viet Nam Supreme People's Procuracy was also one of the cabinet members to participate in the question and answer sessions yesterday.

Thai Binh representative Nguyen Manh Cuong was among the legislators to ask about the plan of the Supreme People's Procuracy to improve the skills and qualifications of their staff, as this is essential to ensure that no criminals can escape from justice and no innocent victims suffer from unfair judgments.

NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung remarked that the sector should settle the lack of well-qualified prosecutors by the year 2015 to ensure the accomplishment of their tasks.

Binh said the work load of the procuracy sector has been on the increase. According to him the number of criminal and civil cases rises by 10-15 per cent year after year. This means it is imperative for the sector to develop their human resources in terms of quality and quantity.

He declared that the recruitment process is underway already and will employ more well-qualified staff for district-level procuracy agencies, stating that, "all these processes have been made public and transparent."

Leaders of procuracy agencies in upland and rural districts will become more connected with educational institutions in Ha Noi, HCM City and Can Tho to recruit excellent students who are prepared to work outside of the country's cities.

The sector is also working with education institutions in Russia and New Zealand in training lawyers at bachelor and masters level, he said.

He admitted that in corruption cases the percentage of suspended sentences of 30.8 was relatively high in comparison with other cases (21 per cent). The Supreme People's Court had reviewed the cases to ensure laws were applied strictly, he said.

Voter feedback

Also yesterday, many voters expressed their satisfaction with the live broadcast Q&A session held by Deputy PM Phuc.

Nguyen Duy Phuong, a lecturer at the Ha Noi-based University of Labour and Society, said the Deputy PM's answers had covered all the questions posed by deputies and voters regarding the prospects of the economy given the current global economic situation, while clear solutions for hot issues were also discussed.

Phuong said he totally agreed with the Deputy PM regarding the tough measure on getting rid of unprofessional and unethical civil servants.

Nguyen Thi Huong, Director of ATP Investment and Trade Ltd Co in Ha Noi's Cau Giay District, said that she was satisfied with the Deputy PM's answers regarding the road-map on economic restructuring as well as social welfare.

"At the moment, solving difficulties faced by businesses, creating favourable conditions for them to develop, boosting exports and continuing administrative reforms are the best measures," she said. — VNS


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