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Viet Nam National Assembly Considers Inflation and Social Welfare
Source: english.vietnamnet.vn
Source Date: Sunday, May 23, 2010
Country: Viet Nam
Created: May 31, 2010

VietNamNet Bridge - Controlling inflation and ensuring social welfare were top issues in focus in a group discussion at the ongoing seventh session of the 12th National Assembly in Hanoi on May 22. NA deputies discussed an appraisal report on socio-economic tasks and the State budget in 2009; plans for socio-economic development and the State budget in the first quarter of this year; and the final accounts for the 2008 budget.

Thanks to joint efforts by the Party, State and people under NA supervision, Vietnam has overcome challenges to halt the economic slowdown, curb inflation, ensure social welfare, and maintain a relatively high economic growth rate. The economic growth rate reached 5.32 percent in 2009, higher than the NA target of 5.2 percent. Vietnam’s economy has seen positive changes in the past few months with an economic growth rate of 5.83 percent, nearly double the rate recorded in the first quarter of last year.

Reducing trade deficit and State budget overspending The above mentioned growth figures demonstrate the efforts made by the entire political system to cope with challenges and create confidence for people throughout the country. However, NA deputies expressed concern over the threat of high inflation, which will affect the macro economy and sustainable development, especially when the competitiveness of the national economy remains weak. NA deputy Nguyen Van Nhuong from Quang Binh shared his views that top priority should be given to major solutions for stabilizing the macro economy and controlling inflation to help the national economy rebound.

Mr Nhuong noticed with deep concern that State budget overspending in 2009 was nearly VND116,000 billion, accounting for 6.9 percent of GDP, and the trade deficit was high, equivalent to 21.6 percent of export turnover. Mr Nhuong said that the Government should pinpoint the cause of this high trade deficit to reduce budget overspending to 6 percent this year. In addition, the Government needs to introduce sanctions on limited imports of foreign electronic components and imported cars. NA deputy Nguyen Thi Bach Mai from Tay Ninh said that the NA should work out effective solutions to adjust consumer price index to a lower level to ensure people’s livelihoods.

Poverty reduction and environmental protection A Government report submitted to the NA indicated that eight targets have not been reached, focusing on social affairs and the environment. It is worth noting that the number of operational industrial parks and export processing zones that have standard waste water treatment systems is only 50 percent, lower than the 2008 figure of 60 percent. A NA representative from Dak Nong, Bui Thi Hoa, said it is important to ensure the living environment for the people. However, the loose management of waste treatment in foreign companies and enterprises has caused huge losses of natural resources and human lives. The Government should clarify the responsibility of environmental management agencies to deal with environment-related issues properly.

NA Deputy Nguyen Thi Bach Mai asked the NA to review some social targets such as job creation and reducing the number of poor households and malnourished children. NA Deputy Ngo Van Minh from Quang Nam said the Government should review the implementation of key national programmes for poverty reduction and tackle difficulties in this issue in the near future.
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