Gov't to form watchdog agency for State funds

Update: September, 23/2016 - 09:00
Nguyễn Chí Dũng
Viet Nam News

Nguyễn Chí Dũng, Minister of Planning and Investment spoke to Sài Gòn Giải phóng (Liberation Sài Gòn) newspaper about the need to create a representative State capital agency.

Does the proposal to create a representative State capital agency for State owned enterprises (SOEs) mean that the VNĐ5 thousand trillion (US$224 billion) currently managed by enterprises has been wasted?

Many SOEs have considerably misused State capital.

Examples include the Thái Nguyên Iron and Steel Complex expansion, worth VNĐ8 trillion ($358 million), the Ninh Bình Fertiliser Plant (VNĐ12 trillion or $537.5 million) or the Đình Vũ Polyester Fiber Plant (VNĐ7 trillion or $313 million) and many others.

These enterprises have been operating at a loss for many years. There are various causes of such huge wastage of the tax payers’ money. To overcome this problem, we deem it necessary to create an agency to represent the State capital for all SOEs.

What is the legal foundation for you to decide to create this agency?

A resolution adopted at the 12th National Party Congress stated clearly that it was important to separate the State asset ownership rights from the State management function and the business management function of SOEs.

The resolution states the necessity “to create an agency to act as a representative for the ownership of SOEs”.

This idea is also reflected in the 2015 of the Law on Government Organisation and other legal documents on the use and management of State funds in SOEs.

I think it is time for us to create a representative State capital agency for SOEs to be in charge of using the State capital to produce maximum profits.

Many people, including experts, have expressed doubts about the efficiency of such an agency. How do you respond to their anxiety?

Whenever we want to introduce a new policy or important decision, it is important to hear counter-arguments from the general public, particularly experts. Ministry of Planning and Investment staff and I who drafted this document highly appreciate comments or suggestions to improve the document. Furthermore, the idea of creating this agency for SOEs has been around for dozens of years.

I think we should look at the many years of big losses and wastage of State owned assets.

I hope with the introduction of the representative State capital agency, the State budget will be used wisely and efficiently and speed up the process of equitisation of SOEs.

What should we do to monitor this new ‘super powered’ agency?

When it is in operation, the agency will be inspected by the general public, the press, the National Assembly and Government agencies.

Of course, if any violations occur, the agency will be punished according to Vietnamese laws.

I’m confident that when we have a good supervision mechanism in place, the agency will do its job properly. — VNS