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NA wants review of new budget rules

Update: October, 03/2014 - 08:26
NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said that the draft law should make clear that the competence of deciding on the State budget should belong to the National Assembly.— VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Hoa

HA NOI (VNS) — National Assembly delegates yesterday said that the draft Law on the State Budget needs to be reviewed carefully towards ensuring greater spending discipline and transparency.

Discussing the law on the last day of the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee's 31st session in Ha Noi, deputies said that the most important thing was to institutionalise the basic principles related to financial and budgetary sectors in the 2013 Constitution.

They said that the Constitution, which was adopted at the NA meeting last November, had created an important foundation for renewal and for enhancing management of the State budget.

However, they said some key regulations in the Constitution had not been clearly regulated in the draft law.

NA Vice Chairman Uong Chu Luu said that the draft law was mostly about budget collection, but not much about spending.

"It does not match with the Constitution's Article 55 which regulates that all collection and spending of the State budget must be carried out by laws," he said.

Chairman of the NA's Law Committee, Phan Trung Ly, urged that the law should solve all existing problems in planning, managing and using the State budget.

"All processes must be done transparently and effectively to reflect that the State budget is united from central the grassroots government levels," he said.

Regarding local budgets, most of the deputies from the NA Committee for Financial and Budgetary Affairs agreed with the proposal from localities to raise the outstanding debt ceiling - the limit on how much debt a locality can have.

Accordingly, Ha Noi and HCM City would raise their outstanding debts from local budgets from 100 per cent to 150 per cent while other localities would rise from 30 per cent to 50-100 per cent.

However, some deputies disagreed with the proposal, saying that extending the debt ceiling would make it impossible to control public debt.

They said that only localities which could balance their budget themselves should be granted the higher debt ceiling. The others should stay with the current ceiling.

NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said that the draft law should make clear that the competence of deciding on the State budget should belong to the National Assembly.

"The National Assembly will have the competence to supervise the Government's use of the State budget," he said.

The draft Law on the State Budget will be submitted at the upcoming eighth session of the 13th National Assembly later this month.

After 10 days of working, the standing committee has discussed 15 draft laws and reports from the Government on anti-crime and anti-corruption activities. It also issued a NA resolution on the renewal of learning programme and textbooks. — VNS

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