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NA deputies question ministers of finance and agriculture

Minister of Finance Vu Van Ninh on November 23 fielded questions from National Assembly deputies about granting business permits, the balance sheets for capital construction, slow-paced projects, price increases, and the finance ministry’s management responsibility.

 

Slow projects

Deputy Nguyen Van Ba, representing Khanh Hoa province, raised questions about the slow pace of projects due to the shortage of capital, the finance ministry’s role in allocating capital, and measures to ensure plans proceed on schedule.

Minister Ninh explained that capital allocation is neither the duty nor function of his ministry. It’s ministries and investors that decide this, and in localities, People’s Council will make decisions on this issue.

Ninh said inspections have shown that the major reason for the slow pace of projects is not the shortage of capital but the tedious procedures of site clearance, tendering, and capital disbursement.

Failure to manage operational capital of corporations

Deputy Ba also asked about the establishment of a corporation specializing in managing state capital for investing in businesses. He wondered how this corporation would be managed to avoid losses.

In response to Deputy Ba, Mr Ninh said such a corporation is a great policy of the Party and State that has been made in law. The move aims to shift the mode of capital management from the administrative to economic. He stressed that a capital management corporation would not be an administrative agency.

The Corporation for Managing State Capital now manages the capital of more than 900 businesses, which were previously managed by ministries, sectors or localities. The capital held by other groups and companies has not been assigned to the Corporation for Managing State Capital.

The Corporation for Managing State Capital operates according to current laws and the market without intervention from its managing agency.

Various sources of capital mobilized for developing rural areas

Deputy Pham Xuan Thuong from Thai Binh put a question about the Finance Ministry’s role consulting on distributing the budget for developing agriculture and ‘new’ rural areas.

Regarding this issue, Finance Minister Vu Van Ninh said the construction of rural areas requires a wide range of various sources of capital, and the state budget should focus primarily on rural planning.

Mr Ninh added that in the future, priority will be given to synchronous construction of rural infrastructure.

Long-term strategy to protect farmers’ benefits

Tran Huu The, a deputy for Phu Yen province, asked about a thorny problem for agriculture: the fact that good crops are associated with low prices and vice versa, and measures to address this issue.

When asked this question, Minister Ninh replied that the government has launched many programmes related to agriculture, farmers and rural areas. He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been tasked with devising a project to comprehensively develop agriculture and rural areas and ensure good incomes for farmers. The project includes policies and mechanisms for encouraging agricultural investment and assisting farmers.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat added that there will also be short-term measures such as adjusting planning, monitoring and analysing market information for farmers, providing credit so farmers do not have to sell their products early and for businesses to build warehouses for temporarily storing rice.

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