Vietnam to announce state budget for first time
HANOI, June 9 Kyodo
The Vietnamese government plans to make public its state budget for the first time soon under the pressure of donor countries that demand transparency in what used to be Vietnam’s top secret. The government’s General Statistics Department will, from this year, coordinate with the Finance Ministry to make public the balance of the state budget of the previous year and the projection of the state budget for the year after they are approved by the National Assembly, according to a document obtained by Kyodo News. The announcement of the state budget is the implementation of a prime minister’s decision last Nov. 20, it said. However, the government this time will announce only the 1997 state budget and the projection for this year, but will not specify the slice for defense. The document forecast the country’s 1999 state budget will see a revenue of 69.50 trillion dong (about 5 billion dollars) and an expenditure of 82.50 trillion. The 13.00 trillion dong deficit will be made up with 5.79 trillion dong from domestic loans and the rest, from foreign ones, it said. It also said the government got 65.35 trillion dong but spent 78.16 trillion dong, and the 12.71 trillion dong deficit had been made up with 8.30 trillion dong from domestic loans and 4.40 trillion dong from foreign ones. During an informal mid-term meeting of the consultative group of donor countries for Vietnam held in the central city of Hue in June last year, the donor countries told the Vietnamese government that a fiscal transparency, especially the publication of the state budget and other economic data, was “critical” to the continued high level of foreign assistance to Vietnam. “It is needed not only for the donors, but also for the Vietnamese citizens, especially the private sector,” they said in a press release after the meeting. Another mid-term meeting of the consultative group will be held in the northern port city Haiphong, about 120 kilometers east of Hanoi, early next week. The National Assembly passed a law on state budget in 1996.
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