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Gov't spotlights social insurance

Update: April, 16/2008 - 00:00

Gov’t spotlights social insurance

(17-04-2008)

HA NOI — A fight back has begun against wanton evasion of paying social-insurance fees for labourers by many Vietnamese companies.

Inspectors in charge of making sure the regulation is implemented have been told in a circular to make sure they carry out their duties.

In the circular, jointly issued recently by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), the Finance Ministry and the State Bank of Viet Nam, enterprises that are late paying fees must not only pay their debt, but also interest on those debts.

Inspectors from MOLISA have been given authority to ask banks to deduct the money from business accounts and send it to the Social Insurance Fund.

Employers who refuse to pay their debts, or find it impossible to pay them within 30 days, will incur a rising interest rate.

The circular follows a Government decree to impose fines, ranging from VND15 million (US$937) to VND20 million ($1,250) on violators.

The decree also allows for operating licences to be temporarily or permanently revoked. However, no cases of violation have been settled since the decree came into effect last year.

Statistics from Viet Nam Social Insurance show about 33 per cent of businesses did not buy compulsory social insurance last year. This was only four per cent less than last year.

The insurance company said many enterprises had either not or not fully participated in buying social-insurance cards for their employees.

This had led to an outstanding nationwide debt totalling VND1.2 trillion ($75 million) last year.

In addition to claiming they were operating at a loss, many enterprises did not pay the fees because of their ignorance about the social-insurance policy or made use of policy loopholes to avoid paying.

In the northern province of Phu Tho, businesses owed about VND38 billion last year. Deputy director of the province’s Social Insurance, Cao Tien Khiet, said several hundred companies had not paid far any social insurance cards for their labourers.

Khiet said the provincial insurance authorities had no authority to punish violators. They could only put the situation to MOLISA for assessment and punishment.

Even now when tools to punish violators are available, people still insist that synchronised efforts must be taken to force enterprises to pay social insurance even if they claim their business is not making money or has no money in its banks account.

This is why they have requested inspectors to force these enterprises to stop operating - and even take criminal proceedings against them. — VNS

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