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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     January 10,  2017  

Budget revenue surpasses target

State budget revenues surpassed the yearly target to hit VNĐ1.1 quadrillion (US$48.4 billion) as of December 31, 2016, up 7.8 per cent or VNĐ79.6 trillion higher than the target.

The information was reported by Deputy Minister of Finance Huỳnh Quang Hải during a teleconference held in Hà Nội late last week. The State budget collection from localities reached VNĐ77.8 trillion, representing an increase of 18.6 of the yearly target.

As many as 58 out of the total 63 localities across the country have done well in budget collection despite difficulties caused by natural disasters across the country and fluctuations in the regional and world financial market, Hải said.

Hải attributed the success in budget collection to various reasons, one of which was the systems of budget collection and management of the tax agencies at all levels, as well as customs supervision and inspection.

Public debt to GDP ratio was estimated at 64.73 per cent, Hải said, adding that this level was close to the permissible level of 65 per cent set by the National Assembly. The country recorded a Government debt to GDP ratio of 53.62 per cent in 2016.

Attending the event, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc asked the Ministry of Finance to take prompt measures to collect revenues for the State budget right from the beginning of 2017.

Phúc said the level of public debt remains too high, having increased over 18 per cent and currently three times higher than the economic growth rate. He said increasing regular expenditures have put a strain on the State budget, warning that unless the trend is stopped, national finances will inevitably collapse.

Phúc directed the ministry to closely monitor tax declarations, as well as cases of trade fraud, and to prevent tax evasion. The ministry must crack down on wastefulness and scale down expenditures for conferences and procurement of expensive assets, he said, adding that individuals or organisations causing budget losses must be strictly punished, thereby strengthening public trust in the Party and State.

The PM hailed the ministry’s pilot model of offering fixed expenditure for transport for Government agencies, saying that the sector needs to strive to reduce the number of Government vehicles which should be auctioned to generate additional revenues for the State budget.

However, he pointed out that the biggest public asset is public offices and land, which have not been managed well and used effectively,  becoming a hotbed of corruption and vested interest, blocking economic growth.

He urged research of  appropriate methods to effectively manage and tap this extremely important resource. The PM also requested that the ministry speed up equitisation and divest from non-core areas in line with approved plans. —

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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