PM calls for higher GDP projection

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung suggested Cabinet members raise the national GDP growth rate target from 6.7 per cent to 7 per cent in 2016.

The Tan Vu - Lach Huyen Highway in northern Hai Phong City is one of several major projects built under official development assistance from Japan. PM Nguyen Tan Dung called for greater efforts to speed up ODA disbursements at a regular Government meeting yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

Addressing a regular Government meeting in Ha Noi yesterday, the PM highlighted the GDP growth rate of 6.68 per cent as the most noted achievement of last year.

The figure represents the highest increase since 2008, even higher than the number reported to the National Assembly (about 6.5 percent) and the set target of 6.2 per cent.

Regarding the country's socio-economic development in the first two months of this year, the leader said the nine-day Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday had not affected performance.

However, investment procedures remained inconsistent and complicated, he said. He urged agencies and localities to pay more attention to administrative reform in order to create an optimal environment for investors while making the best use of trade agreements Viet Nam has signed to lure more investment.

Noting the US$22 billion in official development assistance (ODA) committed by donors, PM Dung called for greater efforts to speed up ODA disbursements and the maximising of loans to spur socio-economic development.

The Cabinet members showed their concern over saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta and the continuing drought in the central and central highland regions.

PM Dung requested the involvement of ministries, agencies, localities and the entire political system in combating the natural disaster.

The top priority is to ensure fresh water for daily activities, he said.

He urged thorough preparations for a report on national socio-economic development and a working report of the Government over the past five years, which will be submitted to the Party Central Committee and the National Assembly in March.

The meeting heard that in 2015, the state budget collection hit nearly VND997 trillion (US$44.9 billion), up 9.4 per cent compared with the previously estimated figure. State budget overspending was estimated at 6.1 percent of GDP.

Twelve out of 14 targets set by the National Assembly were fulfilled or surpassed. The two exceptions were the rate of forest coverage and the export growth rate.

The first two months of this year saw an outstanding performance in the service sector, with an increased number of international tourists, improved purchasing power and higher credit growth.

Also in the morning session, Sen. Lieut. Gen. To Lam, Deputy Minister of Public Security, presented the National Assembly Standing Committee's draft resolution on the continued application of the Ordinance on Management and Use of Weapons , Explosives and Supporting Tools until a law is formed.

Urgent task

The Government considers the prevention of drought and saltwater intrusion an urgent task, said deputy head of the Government Office Nguyen Khac Dinh at the regular Cabinet press conference yesterday.

According to Dinh, since last October, the Government organised many seminars on the issues and issued direct instructions for localities that suffered losses.

On February 24, the Prime Minister signed a decision to provide VND85.1 billion (US$3.8 million) for Quang Tri, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Long An, An Giang and Dong Thap provinces to deal with droughts.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development asked the PM for an additional VND623 billion for 39 localities to fight drought and saline intrusion.

The cost for this work during 2016-20 is estimated at VND55 trillion.

Dinh suggested localities build dykes to prevent saltwater intrusion and dig wells and canals for water


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