National Assembly urges overhaul of administrative procedures

June 08, 2024 - 08:40
During the National Assembly sessions in the last week of May, deputies highlighted the urgent need for a comprehensive overhaul of administrative procedures.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng. VNA/VNS Photo

During the National Assembly sessions in the last week of May, deputies highlighted the urgent need for a comprehensive overhaul of administrative procedures.

They stressed that reforming the procedures was essential for a significant breakthrough in state administration.

Calls were made for the establishment of institutions to address bottlenecks, decisive reform of administrative processes, and solutions to encourage officials to be innovative.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng highlighted that in the first four months of the year, more businesses dissolved than were established, with over 86,000 businesses dissolving compared to over 81,000 new ones set up.

“We have never seen such numbers before. Walking down the streets, many shops and stores are closed. Business difficulties mean that workers and people are also facing hardships, and bad debts are starting to rise," Dũng said.

Among many reasons for these difficulties, the minister noted the lack of a proactive and innovative spirit among the public sector.

Referring to examples from China, Minister Dũng noted that Tesla’s car factory in Shanghai took only 11 months from groundbreaking to operation, and a large shopping centre took only 6 months from construction to opening.

“They work at lightning speed, while we are mired in a request-and-approval process," he said.

Deputy Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Xuân from Bình Dương Province questioned why the central government and local authorities have continuously sought special mechanisms. She suggested that the current institutional and administrative procedures were outdated, cumbersome and time-consuming.

Deputy Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Xuân highlighted the need for radical reform in all fields, especially in investment, construction, public procurement, and internal administrative procedures among state agencies.

“Currently, there are many institutional aspects that need to be amended, but the personnel directly working on institutional tasks is still lacking, the conditions and incentives are not high, and the progress of implementation does not meet the requirements," Xuân said.

"I respectfully recommend that the National Assembly and the Government clearly assess the situation, and invest in institutional work at the central level, especially in ministries and agencies and the National Assembly."

Real estate market and credit

Minister Dũng said that production and business still faced many problems; industrial production recovery was slow; and some key localities had low or decreased growth compared to last year.

Moreover, domestic purchasing power in the past five months increased less than in 2023 and in 2015-2019, while competition was rising in both export and domestic markets.

Credit growth as of 20 May only increased by 2.41 per cent, and businesses still faced difficulties in accessing capital, while the on-balance-sheet bad debt ratio remained high.

Dũng noted that the real estate market had shown some changes, but many difficulties still needed attention. The progress of the VNĐ120 trillion loan package for social housing had been slow and did not meet requirements.

Currently, difficulties still lay in regulations on decentralisation and distribution of powers; management of the gold market and real estate; with airfare prices not meeting real requirements.

Additionally, a tendency to "fear mistakes and responsibility" had not been resolved, and discipline and order were not strict, Dũng said.

A number of regulations, administrative procedures, and business conditions had not been reduced, remaining cumbersome and obstructive, causing difficulties for business.

Policy coordination and response in some cases had not been timely, flexible, or effective. Fiscal policy mainly focused on tax and fee reductions and boosting public investment, while monetary policy primarily used the banking system's resources to support the economy.

Policy implementation still faced difficulties for both management agencies, implementation units, and beneficiaries.

Deputy Xuân proposed that from 2025, the National Assembly should add a specialised report on administrative procedure reform by the Government for the National Assembly to effectively supervise this issue.

Minister Dũng said: “We need to promote decentralisation, remove unnecessary approval procedures, and encourage officials to be proactive and innovative. We need to develop solutions that encourage officials to be daring in their thinking and actions. If we don't accelerate reforms, investments could move abroad entirely.

“There’s no need to innovate from scratch. Just resolving the obstacles for stalled projects can significantly boost the economy, create confidence, and generate new resources.” VNS