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NA approval to be sought for 2015 budget deficit of VND260 trillion

Thuy Dung
Friday,  May 19,2017,22:05 (GMT+7)
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NA approval to be sought for 2015 budget deficit of VND260 trillion

Thuy Dung

NA Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien speaks at the NA Standing Committee session in Hanoi on May 18 - PHOTO: NA

HANOI - The Financial and Budgetary Affairs Committee of the National Assembly (NA) has agreed to send the final settlement of the State budget in 2015 to the NA for approval, in which the budget deficit totals over VND260 trillion, or 6.28% of GDP.

At its ongoing 10th session the NA Standing Committee on May 18 held the second discussion on the final settlement of the 2015 State budget and approved this final settlement which will then be forwarded to the legislature at its next meeting.

Presenting a report on the appraisal of the final settlement, Nguyen Duc Hai, chairman of the NA Financial and Budgetary Affairs Committee, said his committee worked with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning and Investment and State Audit of Vietnam on April 21 to delve into a number of issues.

First, on untimely refunds of value added tax that make the final settlement fail to give an accurate picture of State budget revenue and deficit, the NA Standing Committee at its 9th session did not agree on the final settlement of more than VND7.45 trillion in VAT refunds in 2015.

At meeting on April 21, a consensus was reached on the total VAT tax refund amount of over VND7.452 trillion in 2015 which would be deducted from import-export tariff revenues. In addition, the State budget deficit should be raised as allowed by regulations to ensure a full and accurate reflection of the VAT amount already reimbursed in the previous years.

Second, for VND30 trillion in ODA which was not allocated in a timely manner under the State Budget Law, after the 9th session on 19 April of the NA Standing Committee, the Prime Minister issued Decision 551 adjusting and supplementing investment plans funded by foreign aid. This is aimed at distributing additional ODA funds to beneficiaries to guarantee VND30 trillion was fully allocated as estimated and approved by the NA.

There are sufficient legal grounds to settle VND30 trillion. However, some ODA-financed projects carried forward about VND900 billion to 2016 and over VND97 billion to 2017.

Third, for VND3.6 trillion proceeds from sales of State-owned land and houses, State Audit of Vietnam, the Government and the NA Financial and Budgetary Affairs Committee at the 9th session of the NA Standing Committee agreed to settle this amount.

In regard to State budget deficit and public debt, the State budget deficit in 2015 was more than VND260 trillion, 6.28% of actual gross domestic product (GDP). Meanwhile, the figure approved by the NA was VND256 trillion, 5.71% of estimated GDP and 6.10% of realized GDP.

As for public debt, public and foreign outstanding loans were still at acceptable levels but government debt hit the ceiling of 50% of GDP and public debt 61.8% of GDP.

The NA Financial and Budgetary Affairs Committee sought approval for the final settlement of the 2015 State budget, with total revenue of nearly VND1.3 trillion, total spending of over VND1.5 trillion and deficit of more than VND260 trillion (excluding a local budget surplus of VND52 trillion). Financing the budget deficit was nearly VND196 trillion in domestic loans and more than VND67 trillion in foreign loans.

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