Minister of Finance Untie knot of public investment requires a law to amend many laws


Minister of Finance: Untie
The delegates discuss at the meeting

The delegates highly appreciated the results of economic development that the ministries, branches and localities have achieved in 2022 and the first months of 2023. However, they also pointed out the socio-economic situation in the first 4 months of this year continued to reveal difficulties and challenges, putting great pressure on macroeconomic management and the ability to fulfill the growth target for the whole year 2023.

The delegates suggested the Government should pay special attention to removing bottlenecks in public investment disbursement to speed up the implementation of national target programs and accelerate economic restructuring associated with renovating the growth model, improving the competitiveness of the economy.

Delegate Nguyen Nhu So (Bac Ninh delegation) said that the Government should focus on operating monetary policy proactively, flexibly and effectively, closely coordinating with fiscal policy and other macroeconomic management policies in a reasonable manner. Agencies must take into account rising inflationary pressure to actively consider continuing to lower operating interest rates to support growth; and promptly remove difficulties for enterprises in production and business.

Meanwhile, delegate Pham Trong Nghia (Lang Son delegation) suggested that the tourism sector should be quickly promoted to offset the decline in trade in goods, support businesses in trade promotion, market expansion, and a 2% VAT reduction to raise consumption demand and stimulate production.

Many National Assembly deputies said that it is necessary to focus on supporting production and export, with assistance in finding new markets and partners, in addition to boosting infrastructure investment, warehousing… in order to reduce logistics services, thereby improving the competitiveness of Vietnam’s export goods.

Also on this issue, delegate Tran Hoang Ngan (HCMC delegation) said that the Government has focused on promoting three areas including investment, export and domestic consumption. This considered a “three-horse chariot” to pull economic growth up, but now exports and domestic consumption are facing difficulties, only public investment has opportunities, so public investment must be taken as the main driving force.

Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc spoke.
Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc speaks at the meeting

Speaking at the group meeting, Finance Minister Ho Duc Phoc (Binh Dinh delegation) also said the problems raised by the National Assembly deputies need to be resolved. But in order to do that, it is necessary to implement a law to amend many laws, to gather difficulties and problems in various fields on the basis of opinions of localities, National Assembly deputies and National Assembly delegations from which to submit to the Government and the National Assembly to correct and remove the bottlenecks that are still barriers to development today.

Regarding the proposal to use recurrent expenditures of the state budget (state budget) to renovate, upgrade, expand and build new items in existing facilities and works, the Minister of Finance said it is not until this session, but at the previous session of the National Assembly, that the Ministry of Finance proposed to remove obstacles for localities in renovating and upgrading facilities and works, not waiting to use capital from public investment that can be spent from recurrent expenditure.

The Ministry has received the consent of 63/63 provinces and cities and 20/21 ministries and branches. By the time before the 5th Session of the 15th National Assembly, the Ministry of Finance had completed the draft Resolution of the National Assembly on piloting the use of recurrent expenditures of the state budget for renovation, upgrading, expansion and construction of new items in existing facilities and works.

The Ministry of Finance proposes and allows piloting the use of recurrent expenditures from the state budget to implement projects with a total budget of less than VND15 billion to renovate, upgrade, expand and build new items in existing facilities and works. If implemented, it will remove most of the current problems of ministries, branches and localities, because at present, it’s impossible to repair a fence while waiting for public investment.

The Minister also said the Ministry of Finance has consulted and obtained the consensus of all ministries, branches and localities, but the Finance and Budget Committee has rejected this proposal and asked to implement according to the Law, if there are problems, it is proposed to amend the Law on Public Investment.

Minister Ho Duc Phoc emphasized it is necessary to amend the Law on Public Investment, because at present, ministries, branches and localities are entangled with regulations, having capital to set up a project and having to have a new project to have capital, if then it won’t be possible.

In addition, also at the discussion session, the National Assembly deputies reflected the concerns of many voters about the adjustment to increase electricity prices. EVN in its reports confirmed that the situation of electricity production and business was continuously at a loss. However, EVN’s loss of more than VND26 trillion in 2022 has not been clarified in the report with specific reasons and solutions.

Moreover, the National Assembly deputies also expressed about the waste when hundreds of renewable energy projects have been approved by the State for planning and construction permits, but when construction is completed, they cannot connect and generate electricity, while the economy lacks electricity, must import electricity.

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In this regard, Finance Minister Ho Duc Phoc said that it is necessary to correct a number of regulations, especially the Law on Planning and the Law on Public Investment.


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