Privatisation plan missed, pressure to improve SOEs efficiency

Update: January, 19/2021 - 08:45


Telecommunications giant VNPT was among SOEs which failed to be meet the deadline of completing privatisation by the end of 2020. — File Photo

HÀ NỘI — The privatisation of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) failed to meet the plan set for the 2016-20 period, causing pressure to improve the operational efficiency of SOEs in the next five-year period.

According to a recent report by the Ministry of Finance, a total of 178 SOEs had privatisation plans approved in the 2016-20 period, with a total asset value of more than VNĐ443.5 trillion.

Among them, only 37 were on the Government’s list of 128 must-be-privatised SOEs, meeting just 28 per cent of the target.

This means that 91 SOEs failed to complete the privatisation plan. Among them, 13 were under the management of Hà Nội People’s Committee, 38 under HCM City, six under the Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises and four under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

According to the ministry’s Corporate Finance Department, the bottleneck was due to problems in verifying land assets.

Việt Nam embarked on the SOE restructuring process from the 1990s. In the first 10 years, 577 SOEs were privatised. In 2001-05, 2,735 SOEs were privatised, another 646 in 2006-2010 and 508 in 2011-15.

In 2020, only one SOE was privatised, the lowest figure over the past three decades.

According to Nguyễn Hồng Long, Deputy Head of the Steering Committee for Enterprise Innovation and Development, the disappointing privatisation results in 2016-20 created significant pressure for the next period in restructuring and improving SOE efficiency.

Long said with the issuance of new regulations about privatisation towards improving transparency and ensuring the maximum benefits for the State, many SOEs must spend time reviewing their privatisation plan, which takes more time.

In the 2016-20 period, many SOEs had large scale operations with complicated financial situations and land ownership, thus privatisation, especially in evaluating their assets, was not easy, Long said.

Long stressed that privatisation was not the final target. “The final target was to restructure SOEs and improve their operational efficiency through diversifying ownership which would help renovate operations and governance models.

“Privatisation needs to be hastened in the next decade,” Long said, adding that privatisation remained the most effective solution to improve the efficiency of SOEs and the economy.

Deputy Minister of Finance Huỳnh Quang Hải said that it was necessary to continue reviewing the existing regulations to raise solutions to tackle problems and bottlenecks which were hindering the privatisation proccess. At the same, accountability must be increased, he added. — VNS