|Students practise at the electricity faculty of Dong An High-Tech College. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung called yesterday for "drastic" measures to implement socio-economic development tasks next year. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuan
HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday said "drastic" measures were needed to implement socio-economic development tasks next year.
He said the tasks had been set by the Party Central Committee and the National Assembly to achieve 2010-2015 targets.
Addressing a video conference yesterday, he urged all ministries, sectors and localities to safeguard national sovereignty and ensure a peaceful and stable environment for national development in 2015.
Other tasks that the PM outlined for next year included: promoting international integration; gathering international support; creating an environment favourable to nation-building and defence: and organising the Party Congress at all levels.
Reviewing 2014's socio-economic performance, the PM said the country had dealt with many challenges created by complicated regional and global developments. He cited China's illegal placement of its Haiyang Shiyou-981 drilling rig in the country's continental shelf and economic exclusive zone as an example.
Despite the challenges, almost all 2014 targets were realised, with the three key fields of industry, agriculture and services gaining stable growth and GDP increasing by 5.98 per cent, higher than the set target, Dung noted.
He said progress had been made in economic restructuring and shifting to a new growth model, and improvements effected in the nation's business climate and competitiveness.
Foreign investment had continued to flow into the country, reaching about $21 billion in newly-registered capital, mostly in the hi-tech industry.
The PM said the Government will continue to support economic growth, making it a high priority in 2015.
"Economic growth is the centrepiece of our policy. The Government's objective is to support businesses and resolve issues that are hindering growth. This resolution must be reflected in practical changes," he said.
He praised the administrative reforms implemented by taxation and customs authorities.
"Two hundred hours of business tax processing time were reduced, thanks to the Ministry of Finance's administrative reforms," he said, adding, "other ministries and localities must carry out a comprehensive evaluation to identify time-consuming and unnecessary procedures that can be removed."
He noted that political security and social order were safeguarded and external activities intensified in 2014, helping create a favourable environment that spurred socio-economic development.
The PM also highlighted shortcomings of 2014, including insufficient macro-economic stability and improvements in the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of the economy.
The rate of poor households in ethnic minority areas remained high and environmental pollution has become a serious problem, he said.
He called for tighter controls on the State Budget to ensure effective public investment and prevention of waste.
"Regarding public investments, we all know there are massive areas of waste and it has to stop. Tax money should be invested effectively," Dung said.
He said ministries and localities must continue to work to improve the people's living standards and social security, especially through better provision of healthcare, education and jobs.
He called for greater vigilance in border provinces that had seen rampant smuggling in recent years.
"Counterfeit and smuggled goods severely harm domestic production. We cannot allow any individual or group interest to stop us from tackling this problem," he said.
He said localities should learn from their problems and come up with more efficient measures to realise the objectives outlined for 2015.
In light of the upcoming New Year andTet holidays, the PM urged ministries and localities to plan their working schedule in advance to ensure that administrations and other operations run smoothly, especially at taxation, customs, import and export offices.
He also ordered ministries and localities to improve their communication with the media by providing truthful, accurate information in a proactive and timely manner.
He said public confidence in the Government was of crucial importance if the country is to carry out its socio-economic development tasks and achieve its objectives in the years to come. — VNS