Ministries exhorted to cut red tape faster

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 08:09

Next month, there will be a detailed evaluation on the results and quality of the red-tape cutbacks. — Photo

The ministries that are lagging behind in efforts to cut red tape for businesses must submit draft decrees on their reforms to the Prime Minister before the end of October, ordered the Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung as the Prime Minister’s working group visited nine ministries over the past two days to check their progress on administrative reforms.

The Government requested all ministries to eliminate, reduce and simplify 50 per cent of business conditions and 50 per cent of administration procedures and import-export goods subject to specialised inspection under their authority. This process must be completed by August 15, 2018.

Two months have passed since the deadline but ministries have cut just 1,517 business conditions out of total 6,191, equivalent to 24.5 per cent. Of 9,266 product categories subject to specialised inspection, only 1,700 were streamlined, or 18.3 per cent.

Seven ministries were hailed for their efforts in cutting red tape for businesses, including the Ministry of Industry and Trade (55.5 per cent), Ministry of Construction (85 per cent), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (62 per cent), Ministry of Education and Training (57 per cent), Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (53.6 per cent), Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (51.6 per cent), and Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (50 per cent).

The working group highly appraised the efforts made by the Ministry of Health in reforming procedures related to food safety inspection and the Ministry of Industry and Trade in simplifying business conditions for gas and rice enterprises, which have received positive feedback from the business communities.

Along with these are reforms in taxation and customs; shifting from pre-inspection to post-inspection; and application of risk management in specialised inspections.

The World Bank estimated that in 2017, Viet Nam saved US$200 million for businesses in customs clearance, equivalent to $19 on each shipment on average.

However, the working group also noted some ministries were not being decisive in implementing the reform.

“Many people are concerned about the substance of the reform which is seen in the slow progress of the cutback. Ministries have not completed the goal even though two months have passed since the deadline of August 15,” Dung said.

He suggested the slow-moving ministries prepare solutions immediately and finalise the draft decrees on the reforms for the Government’s Office to thoroughly examine and report to the Prime Minister for promulgation before October 30.

Dung also pointed out the slow progress in amending legal documents. Only 53 out of 283 procedures have applied the single window scheme.

Next month, there will be a detailed evaluation on the results and quality of the red-tape cutbacks, Dung said.

According to Nguyen Dinh Cung, director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), the reform must be a continuous and frequent process to obtain the best result.

He said cutbacks on a part of business conditions has negligible meaning, so the authorities must strengthen their reviews on the specialised inspection reform, as well as standardise and digitalise the procedures and records. — VNS

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