NA deputy Bùi Thị Quỳnh Thơ from Hà Tĩnh Province speaks at yesterday's session. VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn
HÀ NỘI National Assembly (NA) deputies continued discussing socio-economic development during their working session yesterday with a focus on difficulties and shortcomings that needed to be addressed.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng highlighted the socio-economic achievements of 2018, including a stable macro-economy, inflation being kept under control, economic growth reaching 7.08 per cent and improvements to job generation and living conditions.
However, he noted that shortcomings and limitations remained and needed to be addressed.
Infrastructure for socio-economic development, including transport infrastructure, had failed to meet development demands. This was one of the “hot” issues causing public concern and holding back socio-economic development in some localities, he said.
He also pointed to limitations in science-technology, restructuring of economic sectors and management work.
Minister of Finance Đinh Tiến Dũng said budget collection had fallen short of the target as domestic businesses had faced a range of challenges. More than 131,000 new enterprises were established in 2018, but the number of firms which were dissolved or halted operations amounted to 107,000, he said.
Most newly-established businesses were micro or small and medium sized enterprises which had received tax incentives and contributed only a small part to the state coffers, the minister said.
Regarding tax management and tax losses, he reported the work had reaped significant achievements, helping to increase State budget collection and improve the business environment.
Last year, tax agencies conducted many inspections and proposed collecting an additional VNĐ19 trillion (US$817 million) while reducing losses worth VNĐ40.9 trillion ($1.75 billion). Meanwhile, customs agencies carried out nearly 7,000 post-customs clearance inspections and co-ordinated with forces to detect more than 15,000 cases of smuggling, trade fraud and fake commodities.
The minister also informed legislators about the building of a decree on using public assets to pay for investors on build-transfer (BT) projects.
Some NA deputies asked the Government to find solutions to help increase labour productivity, transparency in bidding for public services and develop the agricultural sector sustainability.
NA Deputy Ngô Sách Thực from northern Bắc Giang Province said it was necessary to continue boosting administrative reform, economic restructuring and improving the business and investment environment.
Cutting business conditions and creating favourable conditions for businesses to operate should go along with increasing State management and supervision to ensure their operational efficiency, he said.
Minister of Education and Training Phùng Xuân Nhạ reported issues relating to education that had raised public concern recently, including cheating in the national high school exam in some localities that resulted in test results being doctored.
He said the ministry had instructed localities to strictly punish those involved.
Some NA deputies raised concerns about the increase in crime and violence, particularly child sexual abuse and school violence, urging for measures to handle the issue.
Concluding the working session on the country’s socio-economic situation and State budget, Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Phùng Quốc Hiển suggested the Government should focus more on completing institutions and implementing the Planning Law and the Law on Support for Small-and-Medium sized Enterprises.
More efforts should be made in streamlining administrative procedures and speeding up the disbursement of public investment for major national projects and transport projects, he said, adding that the private sector should be encouraged to participate in these projects.
Hiển urged the Government to deploy drastic solutions to control diseases among animals and poultry, and deal with bottlenecks in terms of land.
Apart from the upcoming high school graduation and university entrance exams, he also emphasised the need for government agencies to tackle issues such as black credit, bad debt, sexual abuse against children and crime. VNS