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Viet Nam: NA Calls for Tighter Controls on State Budget Spending
Source: english.vietnamnet.vn
Source Date: Saturday, May 29, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs
Country: Viet Nam
Created: Jun 07, 2010

VietNamNet Bridge – National Assembly deputies yesterday, May 28, expressed concern about inefficient management of State budget revenue and spending. Their concern arose at a meeting to discuss a report on the State budget balance in 2008. Deputy Nguyen Minh Thuyet from Lang Son Province said improper management of revenue, overspending and loose spending were long-standing and serious problems.

"Ineffective spending has not been addressed well, it even gets worse," he said.Thuyet cited as an example the waste of State budget money in spending for festivals and projects. "While people in Dak Nong don’t have a bridge to cross the river, the Government decided to rebuild pavements which are already okay," he said. Thuyet added that if the problem of ineffective spending was not tackled, the economy would have difficulty developing. Deputy Pham Thi Loan from Ha Noi said the country’s finances needed to be restructured. She said it had invested a considerable amount in projects abroad, while there was still a lack of foreign currency internally.

Many corporations carrying out important projects on social security and for the development of the country’s economy lacked capital. Meanwhile, she said huge amounts of money were being invested in unnecessary projects. Loan said the NA should avoid paying in advance from the State Budget, adding that in most other countries, any spending must be approved first by the legislature. She suggested unnecessary projects be stopped and investment for huge projects mobilised from loans and assistance to ease the burden on the State budget. Deputy Tran Du Lich from HCM City expressed concern about how to give the NA the right to decide on State budget matters. He said that under the current mechanism, the NA could not actually control the budget. "The NA should decide each single spending article, and only those approved should be given money," he said.
The report of the NA Standing Committee said that revenue and spending exceeding the planned figure because forecasting was inaccurate and did not cover all revenue sources.

Minister of Finance Vu Van Ninh admitted the weakness in forecasting work. He added that the increase in revenue was because of the increase in oil prices and the Government had asked for the permission of the NA. NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Kien ordered relevant bodies to provide more reports to further clarify problems raised by deputies at the meeting so that the NA could approve the State budget balance for 2008.

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