Economising on budget expenditure

Monday, 2016-02-22 16:59:04
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Recurrent expenditure has constantly increased, accounting for 70% of annual budget expenditure (photo for illustration)
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NDO - According to the National Assembly Resolution, the total budget expenditure in 2016 was estimated at over VND1,273 trillion (US$57.23 billion) and the over-expenditure was estimated at VND254 trillion (US$11.43 billion), equivalent to 4.95% of the GDP assuming that the GDP growth rate and the government revenue reach the set plan.

Recurrent expenditure has constantly increased, accounting for 70% of annual budget expenditure, while government revenue has continued to face pressure from the declines in the price of crude oil, export of commodities and tariffs in accordance with international integration commitments and the advance in public debt.

In addition, the violations of budget management detected by the State Audit have rocketed in the past five years from VND317 billion (US$14.26 million) in 2009 to VND658 billion (US$29.61million) in 2010, VND708 billion (US$31.86 million) in 2011, VND2,252 billion (US$101.34 million) in 2012 and VND5,304 billion (US$238.68 million) in 2013.

As such, recurrent expenditure cuts will be the target and highlight in the Project recently issued by the government on practising thrift and preventing wastefulness in 2016 which requires strict and practical implementation from all sectors, units and localities.

The government asked for 100% cuts in the organisation of groundbreaking ceremonies and inauguration ceremonies for construction works except national major works and special works of localities.

The government also decided to cut recurrent spending on delegations sent abroad under national target programmes and will not ratify projects and expenditure not under the approved budget estimates, along with inefficient and infeasible projects.

Budget beneficiary units are required to save 10% of recurrent expenditure (not including wages and salaries) and cut 10% to 15% of investment in construction projects among others.

Practising thrift also includes transparency in expenditure and strengthened supervision over public purchasing and investment projects.

Cost saving measures must become widespread among all officials and agencies in the State apparatus and the political system. The government should promote the synchronous implementation of measures to manage regular officials of authorised agencies and raise personal responsibility and the responsibility of leaders.

It is also important to identify and revise limitations in the Law on State Budget, Law on Thrift Practice and Wastefulness Prevention, and Law on Anti-Corruption among others.

Recurrent expenditure is necessary but should be economised to ease pressure on State budget balance and reduce debt on the people and future generations as well as increasing development investment capital, contributing to building healthy macro-financing and sustainable development.