Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Cabinet members yesterday focussed their discussions on the country’s socio-economic performance for the first five months of 2016 in general, and for May, in particular.
Speaking at the meeting, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said that the achievements in the first five months were positive, but there remained many challenges for the rest of the year.
“The pressure of inflation is still hanging over us and it may have a negative impact on our macro-economy,” Phúc said.
Phúc continued, saying that in the five months under review the growth rates of industry, agriculture and service sectors were lower than those of the same period last year. Meanwhile, the cultural sector and social security were confronted with numerous pressing issues.
The Prime Minister asked all the cabinet members to focus their discussions on the limitations and challenges which were hindering the country’s socio-economic performance in the past five months, and asked them to come up with measures to move forward in order to stabilise the macro-economy and achieve a GDP growth rate of 6.7 per cent for 2016.
In his report, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng said that in May the CPI increased by 0.54 per cent compared with the previous month, and increased by 1.88 per cent compared with December 2015.
“The inflation rate in May increased by 1.78 per cent as compared with that of May 2015,” Dũng added.
The industrial production index (IPI) in May saw an increase of 2.4 per cent against that of April. All in all, in the first five months of 2016, the country’s IPI registered an increase of 7.5 per cent against that of the same period last year.
According to Dũng, in the period under review, Việt Nam registered a surplus export turnover of US$1.36 billion, which is equal to 2 per cent of the gross export turnover, while the inflation rate rose 1.88 per cent.
The ministry’s report showed that thanks to timely guidelines from the Government, the national economy recorded satisfactory signals, especially for the monetary index with an increase of 4.52 per cent year-on-year.
Total foreign direct investment (FDI) disbursed in the country in the period hit $5.8 billion, an annual rise of 17.2 per cent, while the total FDI registered was estimated to reach $10.6 billion, nearly 2.4 times higher than that reported in the same period last year.
Around 44,740 new enterprises were established in the reviewed period, a year-on-year increase of 24.1 per cent.
The macro-economy has been basically stabilised and the inflation rate had been curbed, the report said.
Regarding socio-economic measures, PM Phúc requested cabinet members to closely control prices and not to be subjective in curbing inflation.
Ministries should co-ordinate effectively in managing prices as well as implementing fiscal and monetary policies.
The PM also asked for more efforts to mobilise resources from the public to serve development goals, improve the business and investment environment, and speed up administrative reform.
The leader asked ministries, sectors, economic groups and localities to design detailed plans to speed up equitisation of State-owned enterprises and divestment from non-core business and report the plans back to him in June.
He also ordered the stepping up of disbursement of State budget-sourced and ODA capital to enable investors to execute their projects.
The PM required the State Bank of Việt Nam to initiate a plan to cut the lending interest rate as part of efforts to support local production and business operation.
Reiterating the importance of the start-up movement in young people, PM Phúc assigned the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Planning and Investment, as well as other functional agencies, to build complete mechanisms and policies on start-ups and submit them to the Government in July.
Regarding farming production, he asked for the building and deployment of a comprehensive agricultural restructuring programme while highlighting “the new-style rural area construction programme as a new revolution in Việt Nam” that needs numerous resources to succeed.
On social security, PM Phúc stressed the need to promptly provide assistance to residents in areas hit by natural disasters, droughts and saltwater intrusion, and implement social housing programmes efficiently, while preventing injuries and accidents for children, and reducing the unemployment rate, among others.
He ordered relevant agencies to strictly monitor sources that caused environmental pollution, calling on them to be pro-active in protecting the ecosystem and stringently punish individuals and organisations violating environmental protection norms.
The PM showed his worries about wasteful public spending, demanding the that Ministry of Finance screen the management and use of public assets, especially in HCM City and Hà Nội, and resolutely cut unnecessary expenditures, particularly those paid for meetings and overseas trips.
He asked for the effective settlement of petitions and denunciations and strict punishment for those committing actions against on-duty officers and sparking social disorder.
Fish deaths, visa wave
In regard to a recent mass fish deaths in the central region, head of the Government Office, Mai Tiến Dũng, said the cause had been identified but not yet publicised as it was waiting for more voices.
“Scientists have determined the cause of mass fish deaths. The Prime Minister has also assigned appropriate bodies to invite domestic and foreign consultants to have independent commentaries,” Dũng said at a monthly Government press briefing yesterday.
“It is of overriding importance, so before any official conclusion, it is necessary to have commentaries from scientists and consultants, both at home and abroad. Once it is publicised, it must ensure sufficient proofs, legality and objectiveness,” he said.
According to Dũng, the PM has also applied drastic solutions to ensure that the natural environment, especially sea environment, be safe and sustainable.
Currently, the PM has assigned the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Health to check sea areas which are safe for fishing and aquaculture, Dũng said.
In response to a question from the Du lịch (Tourism) newspaper about the Government’s standpoint on visa extension and exemption for foreigners to fortify tourism attraction, minister Dũng said the waiving of visas of individuals and enterprises was one of the essential solutions to boost tourism development and attract foreign investors.
“We have waived visas for citizens from 22 countries, and the PM is considering visa exemptions for citizens from other countries,” Dũng said.
“Next week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will propose to the Government a specific plan to advance visa exemptions.” — VNS