|Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung speaks at the conference (Photo: mof.gov.vn)
The information was released at a conference reviewing the finance sector’s performance throughout 2018 and setting forth targets for 2019, held this week in Hanoi with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in attendance.
Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung stated that in 2019 his ministry continues to maintain contractionary fiscal policy in synchronous and flexible coordination with monetary policy and other macro-financial policies. The ministry also pledged to ease difficulties for businesses in a bid to leverage domestic production and economic development.
Dung stressed the need to hasten disbursement of public investment, including government bonds and foreign capital, while intensifying the inspection and supervision work in order to increase the efficiency of public investment use as well as prevent losses, waste, and corruption.
Public debt will be kept under strict control so that the ratio would fall within the scope set by the National Assembly, representing about 61.3% of GDP by late 2019, he added.
Efforts will be made to speed up the restructuring, equitization and divestment of State - owned enterprises this year. Last year, the equitization scheme of 15 out of 85 State-owned enterprises (SOEs) was ratified while other 21 State-run firms conducted their initial public offerings (IPO). The divestment and IOPs contributed a combined nearly VND40 trillion (US$1.75 billion) to the State budget.
The ministry will make a bold move to fight against tax losses, transfer pricing, trade fraud, and tax evasion. It will also strengthen tax inspections and handle tax arrears to have them account for below 5% of the total state budget collection.
Dung affirmed that last year, the finance sector enhanced the control and supervision of Government - guaranteed loans and localities’ overspending and loans.
As of December 31 2018, Vietnam’s public debt accounted for below 61% of GDP. Government debt dropped to below 52% of GDP while external debt stood at 49.7% of GDP, which are all within the limits set by the National Assembly, the minister said.