HA NOI — National Assembly deputies yesterday expressed concern about inefficient management of State budget revenue and spending.
Their concern arose at a meeting to discuss a report on the State budget balance in 2008.
Deputy Nguyen Minh Thuyet from Lang Son Province said improper management of revenue, overspending and loose spending were long-standing and serious problems.
"Ineffective spending has not been addressed well, it even gets worse," he said.
Thuyet cited as an example the waste of State budget money in spending for festivals and projects.
"While people in Dak Nong don't have a bridge to cross the river, the Government decided to rebuild pavements which are already okay," he said.
Thuyet added that if the problem of ineffective spending was not tackled, the economy would have difficulty developing.
Deputy Pham Thi Loan from Ha Noi said the country's finances needed to be restructured.
She said it had invested a considerable amount in projects abroad, while there was still a lack of foreign currency internally.
Many corporations carrying out important projects on social security and for the development of the country's economy lacked capital.
Meanwhile, she said huge amounts of money were being invested in unnecessary projects.
Loan said the NA should avoid paying in advance from the State Budget, adding that in most other countries, any spending must be approved first by the legislature.
She suggested unnecessary projects be stopped and investment for huge projects mobilised from loans and assistance to ease the burden on the State budget.
Deputy Tran Du Lich from HCM City expressed concern about how to give the NA the right to decide on State budget matters.
He said that under the current mechanism, the NA could not actually control the budget.
"The NA should decide each single spending article, and only those approved should be given money," he said.
The report of the NA Standing Committee said that revenue and spending exceeding the planned figure because forecasting was inaccurate and did not cover all revenue sources.
Minister of Finance Vu Van Ninh admitted the weakness in forecasting work. He added that the increase in revenue was because of the increase in oil prices and the Government had asked for the permission of the NA.
NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Kien ordered relevant bodies to provide more reports to further clarify problems raised by deputies at the meeting so that the NA could approve the State budget balance for 2008.
Identifying levels of disability, creating jobs for people with disabilities and ensuring their access to public employment raised the concern of most NA deputies yesterday afternoon.
They were discussing the amended Law on People with Disabilities (PWD).
On the subject of identifying the levels of disability, Deputy Nguyen Dinh Lieu from Ninh Thuan Province said even the chairman of a commune People's Committee and some staff from the local health centre on the examining board were not good enough.
Deputy Bui Thi Le Phi from Can Tho City agreed. "For simple cases, such examining boards would be able to identify the disability levels. But for complicated cases, there must be an examination by a medical assessment board," she said.
She also suggested the board needed to be comprised of representatives from group of PWD and a doctor, who needed to be trained on the job.
The draft law includes two solutions regarding the issue of creating jobs for PWD, which are either encouraging enterprises to offer jobs to them or requiring that enterprises must recruit at least 1 per cent of disabled people.
Deputy Le Thi Mai from Hai Phong City said most disabled people had a low education or vocational background, thus the law should only encourage firms to recruit these people.
However, Deputy Danh Ut from Kien Giang Province disagreed. He said if the law only encouraged firms to employ the disabled, little would change.
Besides, Deputy Dang Nhu Loi from Ca Mau Province asked why the rate was 1 per cent, not 2 per cent.
"I am afraid that 1 per cent is not based on any scientific basis or the demands of labour recruitment," Loi said.
In terms of PWD's access to public works and transport means, the draft law regulates that by 2020, all public works must be accessible for PWD, including government offices, bus and train stations, health centres, education and vocational training centres, cultural and sport centres.
Ut suggested the deadline be lowered to 2015 and that there must be punishment for those who ignored the regulations.
Deputy Nguyen Dinh Quyen from Ha Noi said that public rest rooms for PWD needed to be included in a public works list.
The Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, said all opinions would be considered.—VNS