Government vows to help businesses cut costs

Government vows to help businesses cut costs

Tu Hoang

HANOI – The Government will take measures to help enterprises lower input costs, Mai Tien Dung, Minister and Chairman of the Government Office, said after the Government’s regular meeting last week.

These costs include transport, infrastructure, logistics and specialized inspection fees. Currently, 30-35% of cargo must be inspected in the customs clearance process but the proportion will be reduced to 15%.

According to Dung, there are over 5,700 types of procedure and certificate required by ministries and ministerial-level agencies. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has the largest number, 220, while the Ministry of Construction has the least number, 106.

The Prime Minister has asked ministries and ministerial-level agencies to review their procedures and eliminate those unnecessary, said Dung.

The Ministry of Finance is responsible for reviewing customs fees and taxes while the Ministry of Planning and Investment is tasked with rechecking investment, construction and land procedures.

The Prime Minister also asked ministries to boost non-cash payments, simplify business registration procedures and reduce logistics and water transport fees.

The Government will promote the application of information technology in administrative reform and assign more responsibilities to heads of ministries and agencies.

For public services, the Government asked the Ministry of Finance, relevant ministries and provincial people’s councils to streamline procedures, and slash costs for business and brand registration as well as customs clearance.

Speaking about the 6.7% gross domestic product (GDP) growth target this year, Dung said the country is facing a slew of difficulties but the Government still insists on translating it into reality.

With GDP growth of 5.15% in quarter one and 6.1% in quarter two, GDP growth in the remaining six months of this year must reach an average of 7.43% to achieve 6.7% in all of 2017.

But the target seems to be harder to attain since some major sectors posted a decline in revenue in the first half of 2017. For instance, mining sector revenues dropped 7.5%, auto production 0.7%, natural gas 8.3% and crude oil 11.4% compared to the same period last year.

Dung said in the first seven months of 2017, about 16,000 enterprises were suspended, up 16.2% year-on-year, and more than 27,000 others were closed or waiting for closure, up 24.5% against to the year-earlier period. 

Capital disbursement for public investment projects met only 38.6% of the plan.

However, there were still some positive changes. Credit grew 8.92% compared to December 2016, a six-year high, and interest rates at commercial banks fell by 0.5% on average.

Restructuring poor-performing commercial banks and dealing with bad debt gained encouraging results, and the stock market regained growth momentum.

Exports expanded 18.7% and State budget revenues reached 48.2% of the full-year estimate. Industry, manufacturing and retail grew 6.5%, 10.6% and 10% respectively.

International tourist arrivals to Vietnam totaled 7.24 million, up 28.8% compared to the same period last year.



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