HÀ NỘI — The 15th National Assembly convened its first-ever extraordinary session in Hà Nội on Tuesday, debating four draft documents and their verification reports on important issues of the national economy.
They included the draft Resolution on fiscal and monetary policies in support of the socio-economic recovery and development programme and the draft investment policy on a project to build the eastern section of the North-South expressway in the 2021-2025 period.
The draft Law on amendments and supplements to several articles of the Law on Public Investment, the Law on Public-Private Partnership, the Investment Law, the Bidding Law, the Electricity Law, the Enterprise Law, the Law on Special Consumption Tax and the Law on Enforcement of Civil Judgments; and the draft Resolution on piloting several special policies and mechanisms for the development of Cần Thơ City were also discussed.
Opening the session, NA Chairman Vương Đình Huệ said the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had seriously affected all aspects of life. However, thanks to the right direction and leadership in a timely manner of the Party and State in moving to safe, flexible adaptation to and effective control of COVID-19, the socio-economic situation in the last months of 2021 recorded positive changes. The inflation was kept at a low rate, State budget collection exceeded the target and the monetary and foreign exchange markets were stabilised.
However, the economy still faced many challenges and difficulties, he said. The pandemic continued to develop complicatedly in both Việt Nam and the world. The economic growth rate for the whole year 2021 was 2.58 per cent, the lowest in the past ten years; risks of bad debts increased; production and business activities and the life of people met many difficulties, which all affected the implementation of the socio-economic targets of not only 2022 but for the whole 2021-2025 periods.
The NA Chairman stressed that in response to the urgent requirements of the country and based on preparation tasks and legal foundation, the NA Standing Committee decided to summon the extraordinary session to quickly consider and decide a number of important issues relating to socio-economic development, finance and State budget to support the COVID-19 prevention and control programme and the socio-economic recovery and development programme.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng presented a proposal on the draft Resolution on fiscal and monetary policies in support of the socio-economic recovery and development programme, which he said set the goals of quickly recovering production and supply chains, promoting growth drives, achieving the average growth rate of 6.5-6.7 per cent during the 2021-25 periods and stabilising the macroeconomy.
It also aimed to ensure social security and people’s livelihoods, particularly the poor and vulnerable groups and those who have been seriously affected by the pandemic.
The programme set five key groups of solutions, including opening the economy in connection with investment in improving medical and pandemic prevention and control capacity; ensuring social security and job support, assisting recovery for businesses, cooperatives and household businesses; developing infrastructure and mobilising social resources for development investment; promoting institutional and administrative reforms and improving investment and business environment.
The Government proposed the NA consider and give opinions about some fiscal and monetary policies, including increasing the State budget overspending to have resources to implement the programme with a total estimated VNĐ240 trillion (US$10.5 billion) for the two years of 2022-2023, including VNĐ102 trillion for 2022, equivalent to 5.08 per cent of GDP (up 1.1 per cent of GDP in comparison with the State budget estimate approved by the NA for 2022).
Chairman of the NA Economic Committee Vũ Hồng Thanh then presented a verification report on the draft Resolution, saying that the committee basically agreed with the proposal but asked to supplement viewpoints about the improvement of the autonomy, resilience and adaptability of the economy and to only use the State budget expending for development investment.
Later the same day, Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể presented a proposal about the draft investment policy on a project to build the eastern section of the North-South expressway in the 2021-2025 period.
He said implementing the Party and NA policies to mobilise social resources for infrastructure development, the Government directed to study to invest the project under the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP). However, the PPP investment has met many difficulties.
With the project’s special role as a backbone for the nation’s roadways, the Government proposed to shift to invest in the project under the form of public investment. Upon completion, the fee collection rights will be franchised to recover the State investment capital (this is also a form of mobilising social resources to continue investing in infrastructure).
As planned, the total investment for the eastern section of the expressway is estimated at VNĐ146.990 trillion ($6.40 billion). An estimated amount of over VNĐ119 trillion will be earmarked for the 2021-25 period.
The eastern wing will have a total length of 2,063km, of which 478km have been put into operation, 829km invested, and 756km waiting for investment, according to Thể.
Regarding the implementation of the project, the preparation is made during 2021-2022, land clearance and resettlement will be carried out in 2022-2023 and construction is scheduled to start in 2023 and be complete by 2025.
The same day, Minister of Justice Lê Thành Long delivered a proposal and Chairman of the NA Economic Committee Thanh presented an examination report on the draft law on amendments and supplements to several articles of the Law on Public Investment, the Law on Public-Private Partnership, the Investment Law, the Bidding Law, the Electricity Law, the Enterprise Law, the Law on Special Consumption Tax and the Law on Enforcement of Civil Judgments.
Chairman of the NA Finance Budget Committee Nguyễn Phú Cường also presented a report examining the draft resolution on piloting several special policies for the development of Cần Thơ City, after the Minister of Planning and Investment Dũng presented his proposal.
Minister Dũng highlighted that Cần Thơ was the centre of the Mekong Delta region, helping connect Việt Nam with other countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.
He said that with its location in the middle of the two most dynamic economic-urban corridors in the region – the HCM City – Cần Thơ and the Hậu River (An Giang-Cần Thơ-Sóc Trăng), Cần Thơ City plays the role of an important transit centre for road, waterway, railway and aviation transport systems. It is also a locality of strategic importance in the defence and security of the whole region.
In the afternoon, legislators discussed the draft resolution on fiscal and monetary policies in support of the socio-economic recovery and development programme. — VNS