|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has a working session with key leaders of the General Department of Taxation in Ha Noi yesterday.— VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked tax agencies to focus on reducing complex tax payment procedures and impose strict punishments on officers who harass the people and businesses.
At a working session with key leaders of the General Department of Taxation in Ha Noi yesterday, the Government leader acknowledged the sector's efforts in carrying out administrative reform and improving staff capacity.
However, he stressed that more needed to be done, particularly in tax management and addressing significant losses incurred through tax collection and cumbersome administrative procedures.
The amount of time needed to prepare and pay tax in Viet Nam is the largest in the region, PM Dung said, adding that many tax officers had intentionally caused trouble for tax payers.
"These are very serious problems that the sector must pay special attention to and take specific and effective measures to solve," he said.
The PM urged the sector to continue revising tax regulations to allow people and businesses to pay their tax in the quickest and most convenient way while eliminating legal loopholes to prevent tax losses.
According to the sector's reports, in the first half of 2014, tax collection fulfilled nearly 54 per cent of the estimates and saw a year-on-year increase of 14.5 percent.
Mekong Delta localities
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh has urged Mekong Delta localities to speed up economic restructuring, focusing on the agricultural sector.
He made the request at a conference in Can Tho yesterday to review the operation of the Steering Committee for the Southwest Region in the first half of 2014 and define directions for the rest of the year.
Deputy PM Ninh, who heads the Committee, said regional localities should do more to connect farmers and businesses to make it easier for the consumption of local farm produce.
Localities should also enhance the application of high technology in production to increase product quality and value, he said, adding that quality was vital for local farm produce to enter larger markets around the world.
During the conference, Deputy PM Ninh praised the achievements that the Mekong Delta localities made in the first six months, with many socio-economic improvements from the same period last year.
According to a report, the region's GDP reached VND237.7 trillion ($11.17 billion), representing economic growth of nearly 9 per cent.
Industrial production also rose by 6.6 per cent year on year, while exports increased 11.4 per cent to $5.4 billion, said the report.
At the same time, total social investment reached VND99.6 trillion ($4.68 billion), up 12 per cent against the same period last year, it added.
However, Deputy PM Ninh also pointed to a number of difficulties including poor infrastructure and unsustainable development.
He asked the Steering Committee for the Southwest Region to co-ordinate with ministries, sectors and regional localities to promote agriculture product sales for farmers and implement support policies for people from ethnic minority groups.
The committee was also assigned to work closely with relevant agencies to organise the Mekong Delta Economic Co-operation Forum later this year in Soc Trang Province. — VNS