NA Deputies Tackle Budget Balance

Balancing next year’s State budget amid domestic economic difficulties and fluctuations in the world economy; and boosting investment in the agriculture sector were leading topics discussed by National Assembly deputies yesterday.

NA deputies suggest more budget funds be allocated to agriculture (Photo: TT)

Finance Minister Vu Van Ninh said balancing the State budget in 2009 won’t be easy. Therefore, the Government will continue to cut expenditure on capital constructions and extend the period of some policies to be issued in 2009 in a bid to reduce regular spending and balance the budget, allowing for some volatility in according to the world oil prices.
Responding to NA deputies’ queries about overspending, Minister Ninh said the State budget has been exceeded by raising local and foreign funds for development, not by the Government issuing more money.
In the long term, a plan will be made to gradually reduce state spending and increase collection.
Deputy Nguyen Dang Vang from Binh Dinh Province said last year’s budget allocation showed a positive trend in that it was made on the basis of sustainable development and ensuring social equality.
However, he said, the budget allocated for environment was low as it was increased by only 5 percent.
He suggested more budget funds should be allocated to cultivating good plant varieties and to aquaculture programs; and localities asked to properly use allocated funds.
Deputy Hoang Thi Hanh from the northern province of Bac Giang said more investment was needed for agriculture, rural areas and farmers; especially for infrastructure constructions, irrigation systems, application of science and technology to production, and labor training in rural areas.
Regarding the 2009 budget plan, deputy Nguyen Van Sy from the central province of Quang Nam said state-owned enterprises should generate capital from banking loans or equitization, and not rely on the State budget which is set to be small in 2009.
Deputy Nguyen Minh Thuyet (Lang Son Province) said reducing waste is possible if unessential projects are not funded.
It’s not necessary for each province to have its own newspaper, television station, university, research institute, port, airport, golf course, and beer factory, he noted.
Deputy Tran Hong Viet (Hau Giang Province) said approved projects have to be implemented quickly, and if a project can’t be implemented, it should be cancelled and the funds allocated to another effective one. 

State Budget to Drop by VND36 Trillion in 2009
Minister Vu Van Ninh said next year’s budget will reduce by VND36 trillion due to reductions in the crude oil, fuel import tax and crude oil export tax revenues, as well as in local taxes and tariffs.

By Anh Phuong – Translated by Hoai Son

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