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Reform activities have been deployed drastically but not synchronously

09:55 | 05/05/2019

VCN – Customs and Taxation are highly appreciated by enterprises for reform.

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Talking to a Customs Newspaper reporter, PhD. Le Duy Binh (photo), the economist of Economic Vietnam Company, said that we should approach administrative procedure reform under the overall method of improving Compliance Costs to achieve inclusive results and long-term benefits.

What do you think about the new points in Vietnam's current administrative procedure reform?

The Government has taken a new approach to administrative procedures in very comprehensive and in-depth manner at all ministries, sectors and localities; used international methodologies, used indicators associated with the reality of enterprises and investors from starting business to obtaining licenses, accessing credit and implementing tax and customs procedures. This allows detailed measurements as well as creates a specific comparison between Vietnam's indicators and regional and other countries. Recently, the administrative procedure reform has been accelerated, showing the Government's strong determination. This is an encouraging point.

With such important new points, how widespread is this reform to ministries, sectors, localities and businesses, sir?

The reform activities have been deployed drastically in many ministries, sectors and localities, but not synchronously. In the overall picture, there are bright spots, but there are also points to be improved. Many ministries and sectors were very responsible, active and serious in reform and really want to make the interests of people and businesses a priority. For example, the Customs and Taxation sectors have been highly appreciated by the business community in administrative procedure reform such as reducing time, simplifying procedures, as well as promoting online processing. However, many ministries and sectors only followed the minimum requirements and delayed in improving the quality of legal documents and regulations. Therefore, the studies of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) as well as many independent organizations showed the different satisfaction levels of the business community for the efficiency and speed of reform of ministries, sectors and fields.

As for you, in the future, what should the reform focus on?

Currently in Vietnam, the reform still focuses on administrative procedures to match with our country context, but for deep integration, we must approach the international concept more deeply to cover more areas. Therefore, many countries around the world have based reform on Compliance Costs, focusing on Compliance Cost with administrative procedures.

The fact that Government’s Resolution 02 / NQ-CP on further implementation of main tasks and solutions to improve the business environment, national competitiveness in 2019 and orientations to 2021 set the target of raising the Compliance Cost index by 5-10 places and raising at least 2 places in 2019. This cost is calculated in specific formula by a simple principle to calculate the time and cost that enterprises must spend, thereby quantifying the costs that enterprises save when a certain procedure is cut. This formula will directly affect all ministries and sectors; this approach will help many other ministries, sectors and state agencies to fully participate in the process of administrative procedure reform, reduce Compliance Costs for people and enterprises. This will make ministries and sectors aim to reduce unnecessary and inappropriate regulations.

In order for reform of administrative procedures and Compliance Costs to achieve efficiency, what is needed, Sir?

Currently, some ministries for some "benefits" should still try to retain many procedures and regulations troubling for enterprises. If the Compliance Cost method is applied, the cost for the entire business community will appear very clearly. This obviously affects the business results of the people and enterprises. We must take into account the long-term benefits rather than the direct benefits gained from fees and charges. Low Compliance Costs will have a positive and direct impact on business performance, thereby increasing the contribution to the state budget.

Therefore, in order for ministries and sectors to improve their compliance level, besides the drastic direction, the Government should have a specialized agency, such as the current Advisory Council on Administrative Procedure Reform to consult and promote the reform and monitor the implementation. The Ministry of Justice will play a role of guiding the Compliance Costs, cutting methods, and monitoring, reporting the implementation. In addition, we should also build an independent agency which has certain powers to require authorities to cut procedures and documents, thereby improving the efficiency of monitoring of the implementation. The model such as the Australian National Productivity Commission is a good example. This committee has the right to request the removal of inappropriate, unnecessary and non-beneficial legal documents for enterprises and people.

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In general, with thousands of normative documents issued each year, the reform and reduction of administrative procedures and Compliance Costs requires the efforts of all ministries, sectors and localities but is not a private task of the Ministry of Justice. The implementation must go through leadership to executives and must be based on advanced methodologies, international practices and adapted to the Vietnamese context.

Thank you Sir!

By Huong Diu/ Huyen Trang