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Vietnam finance ministry strive to improve budget transparency
Ngoc Mai 13:22, 2020/11/12
This is the seventh consecutive year that the finance ministry publishes the report on state budget estimates, which the ministry considers an important practice to promote transparency and publicity of Vietnam’s state budget.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Finance (MoF) has published the 2021 state budget plan for public comment, pending the National Assembly’s approval, aiming to provide clear and understandable information related to the state budget.

 The 2021 state budget plan was published for public comment. 

This is the seventh consecutive year that the MoF publishes the report on state budget estimates, which the ministry considers an important practice promoting transparency and publicity of Vietnam’s state budget.

All figures and numbers in the report are demonstrated in a simple way via charts, graphics and table, so that ordinary people, even those that are unfamiliar with finance – budget issues could grasp a basic understanding of the country’s financial situation.

The publication is available in Vietnamese only.

 All figures and numbers in the report are demonstrated in a simple way. Source: MoF.

With the report, the MoF expected to encourage public participation in the allocation and management of state budget and ensure greater efficiency in the work.

Over the years, the Vietnamese government has made improvements to ensure greater transparency of national and ministerial budget management. Specifically, Vietnam’s budget transparency score in the Open Budget Survey 2019 (OBS), the world’s only independent and fact-based research instrument, significantly increased to 38 out of the maximum 100 points, 23 points higher than the previous assessment in 2017.

The score pushed Vietnam’s ranking to 77 out of 117 countries and territories, up 14 places against 2017.

Covid-19 results in higher fiscal deficit

Vietnam’s budget deficit this year is estimated at VND319.5–328 trillion (US$13.78-14.15 billion), equivalent to 4.99 – 5.59% of GDP, significantly higher than the 3.44%-of-GDP target set in early 2020.

Such a high fiscal deficit is due to lower-than-expected state budget revenue and an increase in regular spending caused by severe Covid-19 impacts, noted Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung in a National Assembly session on October 20.

This year, Vietnam’s budget revenue is estimated at VND1,320 trillion (US$57 billion), down VND189.2 trillion (US$8.16 billion) or 12.5% compared to the year's estimate and 14% against the figure recorded in 2019.

Meanwhile, state budget spending could reach VND1,680 trillion (US$72.47 billion) this year, down VND60.89 trillion (US$2.62 billion) or 3.5% against the estimate. Notably, regular spending is expected to rise to VND1,070 trillion (US$46.16 billion), or an increase of VND12 trillion (US$517.7 million) or 1.1% of the estimate, mainly for funding measures against the pandemic, natural disasters and social security.

For next year, Vietnam’s state budget revenue is estimated at VND1,343 trillion (US$58 billion) and expenditure of VND1,687 trillion (US$72.78 billion), resulting in a fiscal deficit of VND343.67 trillion (US$14.82 billion).

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