Revising regulations on financial mechanism for science and technology:Minister of Finance

VCN – At thequestion-and-answer (Q&A) sessionon science and technology, the spending on investment and development in the field of science and technology was answered by the ministers and the Deputy Prime Minister.
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Revising regulations on financial mechanism for science and technology:Minister of Finance
32 National Assembly deputies participate in questioning, with 20 delegates asking questions and 12 debating on science and technology. Photo: Quochoi.vn

Building framework and ceiling for budget spending for science and technology

Accordingly, delegate Nguyen Tuan Anh (Binh Phuoc delegation) proposed the Minister assess the efficiency and specify data related to development investment spending and total state budget expenditure for science and technology from 2017 to currentdate.

Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat said this is an actual situation in Vietnam. The Minister said the Ministry has a solution to ensure effective expenditure for science and technology. However, it is not possible to determine the exact development investment spending for science and technology in the localities. Therefore, the Minister said that it is necessary to amend the current regulationsto make development policies in this field.

While restructuring national science and technology tasks for 2021-2023, the Ministry of Science and Technology has approved 19 science and technology programs with scientific products and specific evaluation criteria.

“These contents are the basis for forming the framework on the quantity as well as the ceiling level of the state budget allocated for scientific tasks in these programs. It is an effectivesolution to ensure the framework and ceiling for budget spending,”said Minister Huynh Thanh Dat.

Regarding funding for science and technology tasks, the Minister said that in 2023, the total recurrent expenditure for science and technology is VND12,000 billion, including VND8,800 billion of the central budget and VND3,200 billion of the local budget. About VND900 billion of the central budget is spent on salaries and apparatus operation. Therefore, the rate for science and technology tasks accounts for 89%.

The Ministry is coordinating with the Ministry of Finance to amend the Joint Circular No. 27/2015/TTLT-BKHCN-BTC on thefund assignment mechanismfor state budget-funded scientific and technological tasks, simplifying procurement and payment procedures and records.

"If we implement the fund assignmenteffectively to the final product, the records will be reduced by half or only one-third," said Minister Huynh Thanh Dat.

Revising regulations on financial mechanism for science and technology:Minister of Finance
Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc answers the National Assembly. Photo: Quochoi.vn

Revising fund assignment mechanisms forscientific and technological tasks

Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc said that in 2023, the total expenditure for science and technology accounts for 0.82%, investment expenditure at 0.23%, and recurrent expenditure at 0.58%. In 2022, the budget expenditure ratio was 1.01%.

Regarding budget expenditure settlement, the Government has issued Decree No. 95/2014/ND-CP on investment and financial mechanisms for science and technology activities. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Science and Technology have issued Circular 27 on fund assignment, based on efficiency and output results for spending. This Circular assigns the initiative to the leading units and the project manager to adjust expenditure items, spending contents, and allocatedfunds. For the fund not assigned, the spending will be implemented upon the proposal of the leading organization and approved by the competent authority.

Minister Ho Duc Phoc said that the control of expenditures has shifted from expenses under invoices and documents to expenditures under work lists. This shows the open mechanism in implementing fund assignmentsin science and technology. However, there are still areas for improvement in selecting and assigning research topics and tasks, so the fund is assigned late. Besides, the fund assignmentis done based on documents, causing difficulties in the process of conducting scientific research.

In the near future, the Ministry of Science and Technology will lead, the Ministry of Finance will coordinate with other ministries and sectors to amend Decree 95 and Circular 27 to be more appropriate, based on opinions of scientists, people to revise the provisions of the law to ensure openness, initiative, based on the output of the work to perform effectively.

Regarding the management mechanism of science and technology, Minister Ho Duc Phoc said that it is necessary to re-design to be more suitable. The state should order and pay for ordered products. The order may be implemented via bidding or contractor appointment, thereby making estimates, selecting research organizations that guarantee output products, and making payment more convenient. Along with that, it is necessary to stipulate the transfer and application of research topics into practice to meet the actual requirements.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung also said that the central government has spent in accordance with the provisions of the resolutions of the National Assembly and the Law on Public Investment; theallocation is implemented effectively. However, from 2017 to 2023, the expenditure ratio gradually reaches only 1.1-1.18%, and only 0.83%in 2023 alone. While the Resolution of the Central Government and the Politburo stipulates that this ratio is from 2% or more of the total budget expenditure for science and technology andinnovation, and increases gradually over the years.

"This shows that the ministries and local agencies have not really paid attention, there is no projectmeeting principles and criteria for capital allocation. Some localities do not allocate capital or assign a very low rate for the activities," Minister Nguyen Chi Dung pointed out.

By Huong Diu/Hoang Loan

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