State financial funds should be restructured for efficiency

The operation of some off-budget State financial funds have overlapped with the State Budget or with each other in terms of purpose and tasks, experts have warned.

state financial funds should be restructured for efficiency hinh 0
Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

The statement was made at a meeting held between the National Assembly (NA)’s supervising team and the Government on the implementation of a legal framework relating to the management and use of off-budget financial funds in 2013-2018 period held in Hanoi on August 5.

According to the supervising team’s report, there were 28 funds managed by the central government and more than 40 funds controlled by localities during 2013-2018. The centrally-run funds are projected to raise 502.2 trillion VND in total in 2019, with 100.8 trillion VND to come from the State budget. The total outstanding balance of those funds by the end of 2019 is estimated at over 907.2 trillion VND. 

Meanwhile, reports from 41 localities showed that total outstanding balance of locally-run funds rose through the years from 2013 to 2018, reaching almost 17.2 trillion VND in 2018. The five largest funds of this type were the land development fund, the development investment fund, the environmental protection fund, the housing development fund, and the forest protection and development fund. 

At the meeting, participants agreed that the financial funds have made important contributions to fulfilling a number of social-economic and development objectives in the context of the State budget unable to meet the need annually. 

However, the funds have also revealed problems and shortcomings in their operation such as the mobilisation of some funds was still limited and most of the resources of the funds originated from the State. The management of revenue and expenditure was inadequate.

Vice chairman of the NA’s Finance and Budget Committee Nguyen Huu Quang said the Government should restructure the funds and stop the operation of those with ineffective operation or no longer suitable with the current socio-economic situation. 

Vice chairman of the NA’s Ethnic Council Nguyen Lam Thanh urged the supervising team to clarify the legal gap regarding the formation and management of off-budget State financial funds and point out shortcomings in ministries, agencies and localities’ management of the funds. 

He said the Government should quickly review and amend legal documents and regulations related to those funds, and recommended the early promulgation of a law on the management and use of off-budget funds.  

To promote efficiency of the funds’ activities, participants said the Government should enhance the management, inspection and supervision of the operation of State financial funds along with improving the capacity of fund officials towards open and transparent management and use of this source of funding.

VNA