Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at a conference held by the Ministry of Finance in Hanoi on January 8th (Photo: VNA)

The PM made the request at a conference held by the Ministry of Finance in Hanoi on January 8th to review the finance-State budget work in 2017 and roll out tasks for this year.

He asked the financial sector to take the initiative in overcoming difficulties facing Vietnam’s economy while studying economic policies of neighbouring countries to serve domestic economic development.

Deputy Finance Minister Tran Xuan Ha said that in 2018, the financial sector will continue its cautious management of fiscal policies in close combination with monetary policies, further stabilise the macro economy, curb inflation and promote economic growth.

Besides, more efforts will be channeled into collecting state budget, closely controlling budget spending and tightening financial regulations, he added, stressing that budget collection is expected to grow by 3 percent against the estimate assigned by the National Assembly and budget overspending is projected to be capped at 3.7 percent of GDP as set by the legislature.

Bui Van Nam, head of the General Department of Taxation, said the tax sector will propose the NA issue a resolution to scrap irrecoverable and lingering debts to strengthen the national financial system, along with pushing the administrative reform.

General Director of the State Treasury Nguyen Hong Ha said that State Treasury has instructed its branches in cities and provinces to closely coordinate with relevant agencies to swiftly gather budget contributions, and urged investors to speed up the disbursement process.

By the end of 2018, public debt ratio is set at about 63.9 percent of GDP, Government debt at 52.5 percent of GDP and foreign debt at about 47.6 percent, with public debt structured towards sustainability, heard the meeting.

Double efforts will also be made to accelerate the restructuring and equitisation of State-own businesses and complete the legal system on price management.

A decision released recently by the Finance Ministry estimates State budget revenues for the year at VND1.31 quadrillion (USD58.3 billion), including VND1.09 quadrillion from domestic sources, VND179 trillion in trade surplus, VND35.9 trillion from crude oil sales, as well as VND5 trillion in international aid.

The Ministry reported that 2017’s total budget collection stood at VND1.2 quadrillion, up VND71 trillion or 5.9 percent compared with the estimate, and VND43.7 trillion more than the target set by the National Assembly.

In the year, budget deficit was more than VND174 trillion, equivalent to 3.48 percent of GDP, within the legislature’s estimate./.