|As of December 31, 2013, revenue collection for the year reached 100.4 per cent of the estimate.— File Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— The Finance Ministry (MOF) will focus on strengthening revenue collection and helping Vietnamese enterprises overcome difficulties this year, says Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung.
He said effective assistance provided to local enterprises has been one of the main successes of the financial sector last year.
In a statement posted on the Government portal, Dung highlighted five achievements of the financial sector in 2013 and laid out four tasks that his ministry would focus on this year.
First, the National Assembly, the Government, ministries and sectors had worked hard to help Vietnamese enterprises meet the challenges posed by the ongoing economic downturn and restore production.
"Our financial policy continued to play a pivotal role and it was institutionalised in various legal documents, including the revised Law on Corporate Income Taxes, the revised Law on Value Added Tax and the Government's Resolution on giving preferential treatments to enterprises," he said.
The policies were welcomed by the business community, he said, noting that tax exemptions, reductions and deferments totalling VND16.6 trillion (US$780.2 million) had been granted in 2013.
Second, the Finance Ministry had overhauled its revenue collection mechanism and tightened controls over budget spending, he said.
The ministry implemented several measures to avoid losses in revenue collection, step up collection of overdue taxes and speed up tax refunds.
It had urged all ministries, sectors and localities to practice thrift, particularly in their recurrent expenditures. In the last seven months of 2013, about 10 per cent savings was effected in this category, he said.
As of December 31, 2013, revenue collection for the year reached 100.4 per cent of the estimate. Drastic measures initiated by his ministry last year helped lower the budget deficit to below the target of 5.3 per cent of GDP that had been approved by the National Assembly earlier.
Third, efforts to curb inflation and stabilise the macro-economy saw Viet Nam's CPI in 2013 stand at 6.04 per cent - the lowest in the last 10 years.
Fourth, despite many difficulties in revenue collection, the ministry was still able to ensure sound implementation of national social security policies and budget sufficient funds for national defence and security.
Fifth, the ministry proactively carried out strategic tasks closely linked to economic restructuring and changing the growth model.
Another noteworthy achievement in 2013 was stable growth of the securities market with an increase of more than 30 per cent in share transactions compared with 2012. The VN-Index increased by over 22 per cent, placing Viet Nam among the top 10 nations in the world. Share values traded in the nation's stock exchanges accounted for about 31 per cent of the GDP, Dung noted.
In 2013, the Prime Minister approved five decrees on financial management of State owned Enterprises (SoEs) that were drafted by the finance ministry to speed up their restructuring process. By the end of the year, 68 State-owned corporations and groups had been given the green light to start implementing their restructuring plans.
The year ahead
The MOF has set four main tasks for itself in 2014, the fourth year on the go in implementing the nation's five-year (2011-2015) socio-economic development plan, Dung said.
First, it would persist with measures aimed at easing difficulties for enterprises, restoring the nation's growth rate and generating more revenues for the State budget.
Second, it would carry out "synchronously and effectively," all measures relating to the State budget and fulfill targets set by the National Assembly in revenue collection and spending.
Third, it would strive to ensure sound management of bad debts while honouring the country's commitments and taking steps to ensure the nation's financial security.
The fourth task would be to strengthen fiscal discipline andtighten relevant regulations, Dung said.
The Finance Minister said many difficulties and challenges lay head, but he was confident that with determination, solidarity and the spirit of consensus, "we will be able to accomplish all the tasks assigned to us by the Party and Government." — VNS