VietNamNet Bridge – National Assembly deputies looked into the spending of the 2013 State budget and the State budget estimates and allocation for the next year at their sitting last Saturday.
Discussing the plan of issuing Government bonds and allocating the capital to important projects in the 2014-16 period, deputies agreed to prioritise capital to projects on National Highway 1A expansion and National Highway 14 construction.
They suggested total investment in a number of sub-projects should be reviewed and their design should be adjusted so as to cut wasteful expenditures. In addition, the Government must ensure the progress and quality of projects to prevent exceeding the total funds allocated.
The money collected from bond issuance should be instead channelled into hospital and irrigation projects which were slated to be concluded by 2014-2015 and had large effects on the economic development of localities, they said.
Deputy Le Van Hoc from Central Highland province of Lam Dong said the Government should review and check the cost calculations of the two projects and remove unnecessary expenditures so as to reduce total investment by between 10 and 15 per cent.
Deputy Tran Du Lich from HCM City attributed the State budget overspending to loosening management in State budget collection and loss in capital construction.
He applauded the determination of the Ministry of Transport in cutting unnecessary and unsuitable spending in capital construction which helped save the State money.
However, he still urged ministries and agencies to closely control public spending, stressing that money to build new headquarters or buy equipment should not be considered public investment but regular spending, so it should be reduced.
Agreeing with the Government's proposal to raise next year's ceiling rate for State budget overspending from 4.8 per cent to 5.3 per cent, deputy Lich said it was necessary for the State to strongly withdraw capital from economic sectors that did not need State investment and speed up the equitisation process of State-owned groups and corporations to focus capital on key infrastructure projects.
Deputy Tran Quang Chieu from northern Nam Dinh Province asked the Government to strengthen investigation into the cheating activities of companies to evade taxes and increase the punishment levels for violators.
Chieu also suggested that more State funds be poured into the fields of science, technology and education.
Mulling over the three-year implementation of the 2011-2013 national target programmes, lawmakers shared the view that the mobilisation and allocation of funding remain slow, resulting in their low quality and sluggish implementation.
A majority of the proposed capital allocation should focus on the National Target Programmes on sustainable poverty reduction, employment and vocational training, construction of new rural areas, clean water supply and rural environmental hygiene, and climate change response.
Deputy Ha Son Nhin from the Central Highland province of Gia Lai said that two many national target programmes were implemented at the same time, thereby causing difficulties for localities to mange and implement them efficiently.
Therefore, the list of national target programmes should be narrowed, he said, adding that mechanisms of capital allocation should be adjusted so as to realise the programmes more effectively.
Phung Duc Tien, a deputy from Ha Noi, suggested building national target programmes based on practical criteria, adding that funds reserved for the programmes must be used more economically to avoid wastefulness.
The same day, deputies discussed the implementation of laws and resolutions adopted by the National Assembly.
They agreed that law dissemination activities had not made much progress, which led to the weakness in law execution and people's limited awareness of abidance by laws and rules, while many regulations were unfeasible.
Some deputies said the Government and ministries should not be assigned to build and issue too many decrees and circulars – legal documents that provide directive regulations to implement laws – to prevent these agencies from taking the roles of both "footballer" and "whistle blower", serving "group benefits."