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Operating fiscal policy flexibly, creating momentum for recovery, promoting economic growth, Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc

10:33 | 22/01/2023

VCN - In 2022, the Finance sector has made unremitting efforts, successfully and comprehensively completing the state budget-financial tasks. On the occasion of the new year, Mr. Ho Duc Phoc, Member of the Party Central Committee, Minister of Finance, shared with Customs News about a challenging but very proud year of the Finance sector.

Operating fiscal policy flexibly, creating momentum for recovery, promoting economic growth, Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc
Mr. Ho Duc Phoc, Party Central Committee Member, Minister of Finance

* COMPLETE FINANCIAL TASK - STATE BUDGET IN YEAR OF DIFFICULTY AND CHANGE

2022 was a difficult year when the world and domestic economies continue to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the complicated and unstable developments of the world geopolitical situation. However, the state budget-financial task in 2022 has achieved positive results. Could you evaluate the achievements of the Finance sector to the socio-economic situation of our country last year, Sir?

In 2022, the financial-state budget tasks were implemented in the context of the world seeing many complicated changes such as the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been basically controlled but still has an impact on the economy; China's strict disease control policy affects supply chains; the adjustment of monetary and fiscal policies of the US, EU and some countries to control inflation has affected the global economy.

In particular, the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine has had a very negative impact on the world economy, pushing up the prices of petrol, food and some input materials. In that context, the domestic economy was also strongly affected: production and business activities of enterprises faced many difficulties; with slow disbursement of public investment. These adverse factors have affected the implementation of socioeconomic and financial development tasks - state budget in 2022.

In that context, in order to maintain macroeconomic stability and ensure major balances of the economy and the state budget in 2022, the Ministry of Finance has improvised in management and promptly proposed fiscal policy solutions to support businesses and people, drastically implement solutions to control state budget revenue, timely support businesses and people to overcome difficulties, restore and develop production and business.

This is thanks to the drastic and timely leadership and direction from the Government and the Prime Minister, the active coordination of ministries, branches and localities, and especially the great efforts, consensus, and decisions. With the focus on performing the tasks of each officer, the Finance sector has successfully and comprehensively completed the financial-state budget tasks in 2022. Total state budget revenue in 2022 is estimated at VND 1,803.6 trillion, equaling 127.8 % of the estimate, an increase of 15% compared to 2021, of which the central budget reached 125.8% of the estimate; the local budget reached 129.9% of the estimate. This revenue in the context of implementing the policy of exemption, reduction and extension of taxes, fees and charges worth nearly VND 200 trillion to support people and businesses is a great victory for the Finance industry.

Along with positive and outstanding results in budget revenue, state budget expenditure management activities are also implemented by the Ministry of Finance under the motto of thrift, strictness and efficiency; focus on prioritizing resources for the Socio-Economic Recovery and Development Program, strictly controlling the state budget deficit and public debt within the scope permitted by the National Assembly. Total state budget expenditure in 12 months is estimated at VND 1,562.3 trillion, equaling 87.5% of the estimate, up 8.1% over the same period in 2021, of which development investment expenditure is estimated at 82.8% of the estimate.

The National Assembly decided at the beginning of the year, reaching 75.1% of the plan assigned by the Prime Minister, including the capital of the target program transferred to the previous year and the capital of the program for socio-economic development recovery; interest payment reached 94% of the estimate; recurrent expenditure reached 92.4% of the estimate; State budget expenditure tasks in 2022 have basically completed the set targets. Prices are managed flexibly, contributing to controlling inflation and reducing costs for businesses and people; financial markets continued to be consolidated, removed and promptly dealt with difficulties and obstacles.

Positive budget revenue thanks to flourishing business activities.
Positive budget revenue thanks to flourishing business activities.

* VIETNAM CUSTOMS CONTINUES ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM

Following the major directions of the industry, besides the positive results of state budget revenue and expenditure, what are the bright spots of the finance sector in the past year? How do you evaluate the management results of Vietnam Customs in 2022, Sir?

Import and export turnover of goods exceeded 700 billion USD for the first time
Import and export turnover of goods exceeded 700 billion USD for the first time

Not only successfully completing the tasks of state budget revenue and expenditure, in 2022, the Finance sector also achieved outstanding results in many fields.

Specifically, the Ministry of Finance has basically completed the assigned projects in the work of formulating and perfecting institutions and policies, especially closely following the requirements of reality, proactively and promptly proposing to issue legal documents to remove difficulties for production and business. Along with that, strictly control public debt, continue restructuring towards safety and sustainability; manage prices in accordance with the actual situation, control inflation according to the set target; promote administrative reform, build e-Government; strengthen state management of financial markets, securities and corporate bonds; and perform the role of the Standing Committee of the National Steering Committee 389.

Operating fiscal policy flexibly, creating momentum for recovery, promoting economic growth, Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc

In particular, in the bright picture of finance - state budget work in 2022, it is impossible not to mention the important contributions of Vietnam Customs, reflected in key work areas such as facilitating the import and export activities, and economic growth while ensuring control of smuggling and trade fraud, contributing to protecting sovereign interests and maintaining national security.

By the end of December 31, 2022, the Customs sector's budget revenue reached VND 437,383.3 billion. The import-export turnover of Vietnam's goods has grown rapidly, surpassing the $700 billion mark for the first time. In the context that the economic growth momentum of the world and the region shows signs of slowing down, these are really impressive numbers, contributing to stabilizing the macro-economy, controlling inflation and contributing to creating a bright spot in the Vietnam economy.

 Administrative reform of the Customs sector creates impetus for import and export activities.
Administrative reform of the Customs sector creates impetus for import and export activities.

In 2022, Vietnam Customs also continues to make an impression with administrative reform when leading the General Department in the Index of monitoring and evaluating the results of administrative reform in 2021 of units under the Ministry of Finance. Vietnam Customs has also actively fought on the fronts of anti-smuggling, commercial fraud, illegal transportation of goods, and dismantled many large projects of illegal drug transportation with sophisticated tricks, affirming the growth and maturity of the Customs force in crime and drug prevention. With that tradition, I believe that, in 2023 and the following years, Vietnam Customs will successfully complete the assigned tasks.

* FLEXIBLE FINANCIAL POLICY TO HELP ECONOMIC RESULTS AND DEVELOPMENT

In 2022, the formulation, promulgation and implementation of fiscal policies in the Socio-Economic Recovery and Development Program will play a very important role for the Finance sector. Could you explain more clearly the role of the Finance sector in formulating and implementing these policies in the past year, Sir?

In early 2022, at the first extraordinary session in the history of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the National Assembly issued a special policy - a fiscal and monetary policy to support people and businesses. This policy is at the heart of the Socio-Economic Development and Recovery Program with a support level of nearly VND 350 trillion.

The Ministry of Finance plays an important role in calculating, preparing resources and advising on fiscal solutions for this Program to submit to the Government for submission to the National Assembly for promulgation.

Up to this moment, fiscal and monetary policies have made an important contribution to the strong recovery and development of the economy in 2022. With the motto that all fiscal policies are people-oriented and businesses as the center, the Ministry of Finance has actively reviewed the legal system and proposed synchronously deploying many solutions to remove difficulties for businesses and people, promoting socio-economic recovery and development.

In particular, in the context of complicated and unpredictable world petroleum prices, creating great pressure on domestic inflation, the Ministry of Finance promptly submitted to the Government to report to the National Assembly Standing Committee for approval of a Decree to reduce tax rates on gasoline, oil and many other support policies. The amount of tax and fee extension and exemption in 2022 is estimated at nearly VND 200 trillion - the largest amount of tax and fee extension and reduction ever. The success of operating fiscal policy in 2022 is to reduce taxes but still increase revenue.

Effective fiscal policy promotes production and business of enterprises, through which the economy recovers and develops.
Effective fiscal policy promotes production and business of enterprises, through which the economy recovers and develops.

Simultaneously, state budget expenditure is strictly, thriftily and effectively managed by the Ministry of Finance, focusing on prioritizing resources for important and urgent infrastructure projects with great pervasiveness in order to promote socio-economic development, supporting businesses and people, and ensuring social security. It can be affirmed that the implementation of fiscal policy in 2022 has had a positive impact, contributing to the mobilization of investment resources for infrastructure, creating a driving force for economic development, removing difficulties, and restoring economic growth to production and business activities. The strong recovery of production and business helped GDP growth in 2022 reach about 8%, inflation controlled at less than 4%. Total import and export turnover of goods in 2022 is estimated at 732.5 billion USD, up 9.5% over the previous year, of which exports increased by 10.6%; imports increased by 8.4%; estimated trade surplus of 11.2 billion USD; the economy's major balances are ensured.

Effective fiscal policy has also helped Vietnam continue to have its national credit rating upgraded by international credit organizations.

Entering 2023, it is forecast that there will still be many challenges for the Vietnamese economy. In that context, would you please tell us about the major goals of the state budget-finance work in 2023 and key and breakthrough solutions for the Finance sector to complete its tasks?

In 2023, it is forecast that the international and domestic situation will continue to have opportunities, advantages, difficulties and challenges that will affect the Vietnamese economy.

In that context, together with the requirements and tasks of socio-economic development, in 2023, the Finance sector determines the state budget target is to accelerate the implementation of fiscal policies to support socio-economic recovery and development; continue to restructure the state budget, public debt associated with effective mobilization and use of financial resources, contributing to controlling inflation, ensuring major balances of the economy, objectives of the National Financial Plan finance, borrow and pay public debt for 5 years in the 2021-2025 period, ensuring the source for salary reform and social insurance policy when implemented.

Effective fiscal policy promotes production and business of enterprises, through which the economy recovers and develops.
Effective fiscal policy promotes production and business of enterprises, through which the economy recovers and develops.

The Finance sector continues to promote the implementation of fiscal policies to support socio-economic recovery and development.

To achieve the above goal, the Ministry of Finance has identified 10 solutions, in which, the key solutions will be deployed by the Finance sector. Specifically, in 2023, the Finance sector will continue to consistently implement the priority goal of maintaining the macroeconomic foundation, controlling inflation, ensuring major balances, promoting growth, recovery and sustainable development in economic and social fields.

Actively and effectively deploying tasks and solutions of the Socio-Economic Recovery and Development Program, ensuring the schedule and quality, and at the same time, drastically implement the state budget collection, striving to complete the assigned revenue estimate at the highest level on the basis of continuing to perfect institutions, policies and laws on state budget revenue, strengthen the management of state budget revenue; closely, thriftily and effectively manage state budget expenditures within the budgets decided by the National Assembly; and continue to restructure state budget expenditures.

 Minister Ho Duc Phoc
Minister Ho Duc Phoc

In 2023, the Ministry of Finance will continue to strictly control the state budget deficit, public debt, state budget contingency debt obligations, local government debt, ensure national financial safety, and improve efficiency. In addition, the Finance sector continues to improve the legal framework and supervision mechanism to ensure the stable and safe operation of the financial market and financial services; strictly handle violations, promote fair competition among economic sectors; focus on restructuring and improving the operational efficiency of state-owned enterprises, focusing on state-owned groups and corporations; speeding up the implementation of equitization and divestment of state capital in enterprises, ensuring state budget revenue estimates.

This is also the year the Ministry of Finance determined to continue to be active, proactive, pioneering and breakthrough in digital transformation, promoting comprehensive modernization of the Finance sector, especially in the key areas of Taxation and Customs, Treasury, and Securities in order to further shorten the time and reduce compliance costs for enterprises.

I believe that, with the direction of the Government and the Prime Minister, the close coordination of ministries, branches and localities along with the foundation achieved in 2022 and a high sense of responsibility and determination, the Finance sector will definitely successfully complete the tasks assigned by the Party, State and Government in 2023.

Minister Ho Duc Phoc
Minister Ho Duc Phoc

“The year 2023 is also the year the Ministry of Finance determines to continue to be active, proactive and pioneering in digital transformation, promoting comprehensive modernization of the Finance sector, especially in the fields of Tax, Customs, Treasury, Securities to further shorten the time and reduce compliance costs for enterprises". (Minister Ho Duc Phoc).

Thank you very much, Minister. On the occasion of the new year, I wish the Minister good health and success!

By Thu Hien-Phuong Anh/ Huu Tuc