Inflation control remains top priority: PM Dung

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has outlined the key task for the remaining months of the year to continue with a tightened monetary policy while allowing credit for production in order to achieve the goals of containing inflation and maintaining a rational growth of around 6 per cent.

At the regular cabinet meeting held in Hanoi from August 30 to September 1, PM Dung instructed the constant pursuit of the tightened monetary policy and the adoption of policies to support small- and medium-sized enterprises and rural and agricultural areas.

He requested a focus on controlling prices of essential commodities to ensure the balance of supply and demand and prevent price hikes of food, foodstuff and petrol, as well as removing difficulties in production and pouring investment into urgent projects, especially power generation.

He proposed the Ministry of Planning and Investment seek cabinet members’ opinions before completing reports on the implementation of the socio-economic development plan in 2011, orientations for 2012 and main tasks of the five-year 2011-2015 socio-economic development plan to map out solutions to instruct the implementation in line with the country’s actual situation.

On orientations for 2012, PM Dung proposed to closely follow the set targets, including a GDP growth of around 6.5 per cent, inflation below 10 per cent, a trade deficit of less than 13 per cent, a reduction in the poverty rate by 2 per cent and job generation for more than 1.6 million workers.

Ministries and localities should implement solutions together, particularly in monetary and financial regulations, investment in agriculture and economic restructuring, he said.

He also asked not to adjust the overall targets of the 2011-2015 plan, saying that ministries and branches needed to review and effectively combine national target programmes to avoid overlap.

At the meeting, cabinet members said that because of drastic and timely implementation of solutions to control inflation, stabilise the macro-economy and ensure social welfare, the country’s socio-economic situation in August stabilised, with satisfactory results recorded in a number of fields, such as inflation rate of less than 1 per cent, the lowest figure since the start of the year, a relatively high industrial production growth, a three-fold increase in export revenues over the plan, reductions in trade deficit and in State budget overspending and a stable foreign currency market.

In the first eight months of the year, the country posted an export turnover of US$60.8 billion, a year-on-year rise of 33.7 per cent, plus an industrial production value increase of 7.3 per cent, said the cabinet members, adding that the country attracted 3.96 million tourists in the reviewed period.

Implementing the Government’s Resolution 11, ministries, branches and localities cut VND9.4 trillion from budget capital and Government bonds, while groups and corporations suspended and slowed the pace of 907 projects totalling more than VND39.2 trillion.

The resolution has controlled the gold and foreign currency market and reduced monthly inflation rate to below 1 per cent.

However, they said that epidemics and disasters have caused loss of life and property as well as hindrances to agricultural production, and that pushed up input prices in agricultural production, in addition to high interest rates and difficulties in credit access.

Cabinet members proposed to continue strict implementation of the Government’s resolution, focusing on restructuring public investment towards sustainable development, and gathering resources to promote agricultural production, breeding and aquaculture under large-scale production models, to ensure food security and increase farm products exports.

They reached consensus on prioritising macroeconomic stability to ensure sustainable economic development; increasing national economic competitiveness; maintaining socio-political stability; democracy and discipline in society, to lay a foundation for the country to become a modernity-oriented industrialised nation by 2020.

To effectively implement the targets, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc proposed the Government soon stabilise the organisation, especially the assignment of functions and tasks of each ministry for smooth, effective and transparent operations.

He asked ministries, branches and localities to speed up administrative reform, fight corruption, and minimise the mechanism of “giving” and “asking”, especially in budget allocation and major construction investment.

He also proposed the Government pay more attention to agriculture, particularly the effective implementation of a national target programme on new rural development.

At the meeting, Cabinet members discussed the country’s land inventory results of the 2005-2010 period, land use plan until 2020 and the 2011-2015 land use plan and the 13th cabinet’s action programme.

They also discussed several draft laws on judicial assessment and handling of administrative and advertisement violations, the prevention and control of tobacco impacts, and water resources.

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