|Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung at the event
Dung said 2017 was the second year of the implementation of Resolution by the 12th National Party Congress and the 2016-2020 socio-economic development plan, and the first year to enforce the Law on State Budget 2015 and realise the Politburo’s Resolution No.07/NQ-TW dated November 18, 2016 on restructuring State budget, managing public debts and ensuring safe and sustainable national finance.
Thanks to the entire political system, business community and people nationwide, most socio-economic targets were met or surpassed. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.81 percent in 2017, a record since 2011. Trade surplus hit 2.9 billion USD while inflation was kept under control.
The State budget income was 1.29 quadrillion VND, rising by 6.7 percent over the estimate, thanks to higher income from land use, export-import and crude oil taxes.
Meanwhile, expenditure surpassed 1.35 quadrillion VND, or 97.5 percent of the estimate. Of the figure, some 564.5 trillion VND was spent by central units (equal to 95.1 percent of the estimate) and the remaining of 790.5 trillion VND by localities (equal to 99.2 percent of the estimate).
Delivering an audit report on State budget settlement in 2017, State Auditor General Ho Duc Phoc said the State Audit Office (SAO) suggested measures to increase revenue to the tune of 19.8 trillion VND and cut expenses by more than 23.7 trillion VND.
It transferred five cases to investigative police, and proposed amendments, supplements or removal of 160 documents that are no longer conformity to legal regulations and the reality to prevent wastefulness.
He admitted shortcomings remain in the use and management of public assets, including low occupancy in economic zones (EZs) at only 13 percent due to projects’ slow progress and limited incentives in coastal EZs.
Via audits of nine programmes and 23 projects using Official Development Assistance (ODA) and soft loans, the SAO suggested handling over 21.7 trillion VND.
Eight projects under build-operate-transfer (BOT) model were found to commit violations in the appointment of investors and contractors, as well as total investment calculation.
Seven other projects under the build-transfer (BT) model violated the Land Law and the SAO proposed handling over 2.9 trillion VND.
As of December 31, 2018, as much as 66.5 trillion VND were asked to be handled, or 73.2 percent of the total.
Also at the event, Chairman of the NA’s Finance and Budget Committee Nguyen Duc Hai presented a report reviewing the State budget settlement 2017.