NA Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân (centre) chairs a meeting of the NA Standing Committee in Hà Nội on Friday. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The Government needed to build short- and long-term scenarios for socio-economic development and review major targets for the economy for 2020, lawmakers said at a NA Standing Committee meeting on Friday.
Discussing the Government’s assessment of socio-economic development and State budget spending in 2019 and the first months in 2020, NA Standing Committee members lauded the efforts made to support people and enterprises affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presenting the Government’s report, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng highlighted that 2019 was the second year the country had fulfilled all 12 key targets set by the NA, with GDP growth of more than 7 per cent.
Entering 2020, Việt Nam’s economy had been seriously affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, with most sectors suffering, especially transport, services, trade and tourism.
As such, the Government had drafted two scenarios for the economy, he said.
In the first scenario, the country's major trade and investment partners would have the virus under control in the third quarter, leading to GDP growth of 4.4-5.2 per cent this year.
In the second scenario, pandemic control would only happen in the fourth quarter, leading to GDP growth of 3.6-4.4 per cent.
The minister said considering the scale and of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government found it necessary to revise the targets for 2020.
The Government’s report suggested the GDP growth target should be revised down to 4.5 per cent from the initial 6.8 per cent. If the world situation develops in a favourable direction with the pandemic under control and the international market recovering, the target could be raised to 5.4 per cent to ensure it met the goal of average annual growth of 6.5 per cent from 2016-2020.
Export growth should be revised down to 4 percent from the previous 7 per cent, and CPI at 4 percent instead of under 4 per cent, while State budget collections would be reduced by VNĐ163 trillion (nearly US$7 billion).
A report by the NA’s Economic Committee confirmed the Government’s assessment, saying the Government should research and submit adjustments to targets within the legislature's jurisdiction, while working on flexible solutions for the best possible performance.
NA Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân agreed that the original GDP growth target could not be reached, and State budget collection was certain to fall. However, she said the target adjustments required thorough evaluation before the NA’s 9th session.
Vice Chairman of the NA Phùng Quốc Hiển asked the Government to continue reviewing its forecasts for 2020 and build a third scenario for the possibility that the pandemic could prolong into 2021.
The NA Standing Committee agreed if there were not sufficient legal grounds to submit the adjusted targets to the NA at the upcoming 9th session, they would be presented at 10th session.
Also during the meeting, the Government reported that State budget collection in the first four months of the year reached 32.5 per cent of estimates, down 5.9 per cent year on year, with most types of revenue falling compared to the same period last year.
Head of the NA’s Finance and Budget Committee Nguyễn Đức Hải said tax reductions designed to support people had resulted in the fall.
The committee also noted the slow disbursement of development capital by ministries, central agencies and localities. It urged the Government to work harder to remove difficulties for production and business activities and speed up public capital disbursement, while tightening discipline in public capital management. — VNS