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Nov 04, 2019 / 14:16

Vietnam finance ministry publicizes 2020 state budget estimates

The Ministry of Finance considers such publication an important practice promoting transparency and publicity of Vietnam’s state budget.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) published the 2020 state budget estimates for public comment, pending the National Assembly’s approval, aiming to provide clear and understandable information related to the state budget.

 Illustrative photo.

In 2020, the MoF expected to fulfill the financial – state budget objectives for the 2016 – 2020 period based on fiscal discipline, in turn stabilizing macro-economic conditions and promoting production and business activities.

The MoF would continue to restructure state budget, in which a major part is used for salary reform and social welfare policies.

The ministry targets 2020 state budget revenue at VND1,500 trillion (US$64.75 billion), up 3.8% compared to the 2019 estimate, while the capital mobilization rate for state budget is estimated at 22.2% of GDP, with taxes and fees projected at 19.4% of GDP.

Meanwhile, budget spending is projected to reach over US$1,700 trillion (US$73.38 billion), up 7% compared to the 2019 estimate. The MoF expected to focus on increasing the spending ratio for development investment and lowering regular spending; allocating sufficient funds for timely debt payment and ensuring national financial security.

The MoF expected the fiscal deficit in 2020 at VND234.8 trillion (US$10.13 billion), equivalent to 3.44% of GDP. By the end of 2020, Vietnam’s public debt is estimated to reach 54.3% of GDP, government debt at 48.5% and foreign debt at 45.5%.

All these figures are within the limits and lower than the national financial plan in the 2016 – 2020 period, with the ceiling for public debt, government debt and foreign debt at 65%, 54% and 50%, respectively. 

Vo Thanh Hung, director general of the MoF’s State Budget Department, said the publication would encourage provinces/cities to disclose their respective provincial state budget estimates. Therefore, citizens could understand basic information related to provincial state budget management and voice their opinions accordingly.

The timing of the issuance, prior to the National Assembly’s approval, is in compliance with international standards, added Hung.

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

Budget transparency in Vietnam remains questionable. The Ministry Open Budget Index (MOBI) 2018, which was launched by the Budget Transparency, Accountability and Participation (BTAP) Alliance and the Center for Development and Integration (CDI), revealed twenty state agencies at ministerial level out of 37 under the survey failed to disclose information regarding budget execution

In June, BTAP, CDI and the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) launched the Provincial Open Budget Index (POBI) report, revealing less than half of Vietnam's 63 provinces and cities failed to obtain the average score of 50. 
Vietnam’s two major economic hubs Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City stood in the category C in the POBI report with scores of 49.72 and 48.98, respectively.