Vietnam needs to cure ‘stagnation disease’ to ‘take off’

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Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, after taking office, has been paying high attention to fostering the public apparatus’ proper implementation of their functions and tasks, especially the fulfillment of the great responsibilities assigned to them.

Vietnam needs to cure ‘stagnation disease’ to 'take off'

The Government;s regular meeting – May 2021

He always emphasizes that the whole apparatus and every cadre needs to ‘dare to think’, ‘dare to do’ and ‘dare to take responsibility’.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s statements and actions show his determination to fight the ‘stagnation disease’ that has taken root and is ingrained in the public apparatus.

The disease was mentioned in 2020 by former Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who called this ‘the stagnation virus’.

‘Stagnation virus’ is a reasonable name, because it mutates, spreads very quickly and causes serious consequences.

Stagnation is one of the reasons behind the slow development of the country. No matter how good the policies and solutions are, they won’t bring the desired effects if implementation is slow. In some cases, slow implementation may turn opportunity into danger.

So now, more than ever, it is necessary to minimize the harmful effects of the stagnation disease, if we cannot destroy it right away.

If not, even the daily operations of the Government and the Prime Minister, such as the prevention and control of the Covid 19 pandemic, the disbursement of public investment capital, and the implementation of the equitization of SOEs (state-owned enterprises) won’t be successful as expected.

If not, it will be difficult to obtain the development goals of the 2025, 2030 and 2045 aspirations approved recently by the 13th Party Congress.

How to treat ‘stagnation disease’

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, after taking office, has been paying high attention to fostering the public apparatus’ proper implementation of their functions and tasks, especially the fulfillment of the great responsibilities assigned to them.

For a long time, we have not ‘traced’ the stagnation virus to the end, so the treatment of the disease has not brought the desired effects. The problem is that the stagnation, in many cases, was born right in development policies.

Over the last 35 years, since doi moi (renovation), the Party and the State have laid down countless policies and legal documents, which serve as a legal framework that helps promote the development of the country.

However, it is undeniable that the policies contain the tools that create ‘stagnation viruses’ hindering the development of the country, including the gradual slowdown of economic growth.

The economic growth rate in the last 20-30 years was far below the rates of the countries around us. It’s apparent that many policies and guidelines are still general, which is interpreted differently and takes too much time to discuss during the implementation of the policies.

Most of the laws, after they are ratified by the National Assembly, still need legal documents guiding the implementation of the laws to be brought into life. As a result, many laws do not have much significance, thus confusing the State, people and businesses. And this is exactly the shelter of many evil ‘stagnation viruses’.

The content duplication and overlapping in legal documents is hindering so many development steps. This issue has been and will continue to appear in mass media.

In another example, the “socialist-oriented market economy” mechanism still has not yet reached a consensus after more than 30 years of discussion even among policy makers. The economic report submitted to the 12th Congress, while assessing the seriousness of the problem, said this is the No 1 reason that causes weaknesses in national governance.

The report said: “The perception of the socialist-oriented market economy is not clear enough, it is still different, still has not kept up with the requirements on renovation for economic development and international integration…”.

Resolution 11 on perfecting the market economy mechanism in 2017 continued to blame weaknesses in governance on subjective reasons, especially the unclear perception of the socialist-oriented market economy; and the heavy influence of thinking about subsidization.

Meanwhile, the capacity to build and implement institutions is still inadequate and has not kept pace with the development of the market economy. The thorough grasping and organization of the implementation of the Party’s guidelines, and the State’s policies and laws at all levels and sectors, especially the heads, is not drastic, ineffective and not serious.

The economic report submitted to the 13th Congress repeated the reason almost verbatim: the awareness of some issues about the socialist-oriented market economy is still not deep and unified, especially the relationship between the State, the market and society, land ownership, resource allocation, the role of state-owned enterprises, collective economy, cooperatives, and the autonomy of public non-business units.

More than 35 years have passed since Doi Moi and it is enough for some countries like Korea and Japan to advance to the first world. However, we still haven’t reached agreement about perceptions.

Hai Loc

The Ministry of Home Affairs has proposed reducing the number of ministries and ministerial-level agencies from 22 at present to 16-18 by 2030; and to promote digital transformation and the digital government.

Minister of Home Affairs Pham Thi Thanh Tra says that the state apparatus is overly cumbersome with too many levels of hierarchy and an overlapping structure in ministries and ministerial-level agencies.

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