Merger of districts and communes to save VND2 trillion

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The number of civil servants at the district level has been reduced by 706 out of 2,411, while the number of cadres and civil servants at the commune level has been cut by 9,694 out of 20,403 under the program on district and commune mergers.

Merger of districts and communes to save VND2 trillion

National Assembly Chair Vuong Dinh Hue late last week had a working session with the National Assembly Standing Committee’s supervisory delegation on the implementation of the resolutions on the re-arrangement of administrative units at district and commune levels in 2019-2021.

The working session aimed to prepare for a report to be sent to the ninth session of the National Assembly Standing Committee’s session, slated for March 2022.

Chair of the National Assembly Committee for Legal Affairs Hoang Thanh Tung said, after the re-arrangement, 3,437 agencies at commune level and 429 at district level were reduced, which allowed cutting 706 civil servants at district level and 9,694 at commune level. As many as 8,448 out of 14,233 non-specialized officer posts at the commune level have also been cut.

In many localities, the local authorities have re-arranged and merged hamlets and residential groups, cutting 16,321 out of 86,282 hamlets and residential groups, and 48,963 non-specialized officers (only in 45 provinces implementing administrative unit rearrangement).

Regarding the state budget, National Assembly’s agencies, citing the Government’s reports, showed that VND2.008 trillion was saved in 2019-2021. Of this, the reduction of spending by district- and commune-level authorities was VND1.132 trillion. The reduction in spending on salaries and allowances was VND787.84 billion, while reduction on activities was VND344.79 billion. The reduction in spending on non-specialized officers in hamlets and residential groups was about VND876 billion.

The expenditure cuts allow more resources for socio-economic development, implementation of the strategy on hunger elimination and poverty reduction, and building new rural areas and urban gentrification, thus contributing to social security and raising people’s living standards.

After the re-arrangement of administrative units, the state management remained effective with all the targets met, while ensuring national defence and social security in localities.

However, Tung pointed out that there have been many problems during the rearrangement of the administrative units at district and commune levels. After communes and districts expand, the workload becomes bigger and the demand for public services increases, while the number of cadres and officers has been cut.

This has greatly affected direction and administration, especially districts and communes in mountainous and rural areas, where the terrain is special, with many hills and mountains, rivers and streams, where population is scattered and transport conditions are unfavorable. The medical examination and treatment of people is difficult because of the long distance from homes to clinics.

Thu Hang

Institutional reform is facing difficulties because the power of ministries, State agencies and local authorities is too great. Proposals to cut off privileges and the “ask-give” mechanism are not welcome by many people who benefit.

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