Finance minister questioned on PPP projects

Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung, speaking at the National Assembly’s June 11 Q&A session, continued answering deputies’ queries on the ministry’s implementation of public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

He said the ministry has worked with the Ministry of Planning and Investment to arrange a list of PPP projects, as well as selecting investors, inspecting their financial capacity and examining the implementation of the projects. 

It also issued a circular stipulating the use and management of expenses by the State agencies controlling the projects. 

Dung confirmed that the ministry has to date ensured project payments are made in full and helped ease difficulties faced by investors when carrying out their projects. It has fulfilled its responsibility to the implementation process. 

Regarding ways to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) recover and develop after recession, Minister Dung said that according to the Law on Tax Management, which came into effect on July 1, 2013, businesses with an annual turnover of less than VND20 billion (US$940,000) can enjoy corporate income tax of 20%. 

SMEs also have to conduct value added tax declarations only four times a year (rather than monthly), thus helping reduce the pressure on capital for these businesses. 

In addition, in 2011 a credit guarantee fund was set up to provide assistance for SMEs to overcome difficulties and stabilise their operation. 

In the time ahead, the ministry will submit several policies to authorities prolonging the tax payment deadline and exempting personal income tax for owners of Vietnamese fishing vessels and Vietnamese sailors in foreign ships. 

It will also strengthen measures to prevent tax fraud, creating an equally competitive environment for enterprises, stated Dung. 

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien also took part in the Q&A session to respond to deputies’ questions relating to the setting and management of medicine prices. 

Tien said that Vietnam has used the 2005 Law on Pharmacy and the Law on Prices to control the price of medicine. The price in Vietnam is now 1.5-2 times and 2-3 times lower than that in China and Thailand, respectively. 

At the end of the Q&A session for the Finance Minister, NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung spoke highly of Dung’s answers and the participation in the session of Health Minister Tien, Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang, and Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh. 

He asked the ministers to pay more attention to solving issues raised by deputies relating to public debts, State budget balance and market stabilisation. 

On the same day, Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan also clarified issues relating to education quality, particularly in tertiary education and vocational training, and plans for reforms.

VNA/VOV online