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NA members talk economic progress

Update: November, 02/2013 - 09:34
Transport Minister Dinh La Thang was asked to report on the progress of the project on constructing a canal for heavyweight vessels from the sea to the Hau River in southern Tra Vinh Province.
HA NOI  (VNS) — Continuing the National Assembly plenary discussion on socio-economic progress, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh yesterday reaffirmed that the Government did not provide a "too optimistic" picture about the economy in 2013 and said that most of the statistical data were reliable.

Replying to questions posed by some NA members on the prediction that the economy could close the year at 5.4 per cent despite slower credit growth and the state budget deficit, Minister Vinh said that a 5.4 per cent growth was highly achievable considering all the progress made in FDI projects, ODA disbursement and good signs in sectors such as services, industrial production and commerce.

"Our production is reviving though it has not quite stabilised yet. All of the statistical data we use to calculate economic growth are highly reliable and are audited by international partners," Vinh said. "This is an important moment for us to trust in this progress and make sure that we're prepared for the next two years to enter the next period of 2016-2020."

Also speaking in the morning session yesterday, State Bank Governor Nguyen Van Binh said VND100 trillion (about $5 billion) in bad credit was dealt with from 2012 to September 2013.

Credit growth at the end of 2013 is predicted to reach 11.2 per cent.

In terms of credit growth in the agriculture sector and rural areas, Binh said it could reach 15-18 per cent and that the State Bank was working with local governments to make further efforts in providing credit to the development of agriculture and rural areas, especially as farmers struggle to access funds to switch to other crops as part of the agriculture sector's restructuring plan.

Binh admitted that bad credit in capital construction was still a major concern, and called for further solutions to increase aggregate demand and reduce stockpile.

Transport Minister Dinh La Thang was asked to report on the progress of the project on constructing a canal for heavyweight vessels from the sea to the Hau River in southern Tra Vinh Province.

The construction of the 40km passage kicked off in 2009 with an investment of VND5 trillion (US$238 million) from Government bonds. However, by the middle of 2010, construction had ground to a halt due to lack of funds.

The Government is asking for another VND6.6 trillion ($318 million) to complete the project, which Thang said could play a major role in ensuring economic progress for the Mekong Delta region.

Most NA deputies also agreed to expand the level of state budget deficit to allow the Government more funding to spur growth and production, however, deputy Duong Trung Quoc said the Government should show its commitment to use the funding effectively, preventing further corruption cases that cause large losses of state funding.

Hydro-power concerns

Later the same day, NA deputies discussed in groups the results of reviewing the planning of and investment in hydro-power projects as well as their operations and discussed the draft amendments to the Notary Law.

Deputy Hoang Thi To Nga from northern Nam Dinh Province said the Government report on the construction and operation of hydro-power projects clearly showed the role of these projects towards society, environment and energy security, as well as their socio-economic impacts.

However, she said the Government should clarify the responsibilities of management bodies in planning hydro-power projects and assess impacts of hydro-power projects that were implemented but then left unused.

More attention to replanting areas of forest that were taken for construction of hydropower projects was also needed, she said.

Deputy Le Minh Trong from southern Tay Ninh Province proposed the Government consider more about the construction of small and very small hydro-power plants as a result of their low efficiency.

The deputies agreed to propose the NA issue a Resolution on planning and investing in construction and operation of hydro-power projects.

The resolution would clearly identify the responsibilities of leaders who manage the operation of hydropower projects if any problems occur, as well as the responsibilities of ministries, agencies and localities during the operation and exploitation of these projects, said deputy Pham Truong Dan from central Quang Nam Province.

Concerning the draft amendments to the Notary Law, deputies stressed the need to have stricter State management over notary activities in order to raise the quality of notary services. — VNS


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