Economic Sector

Last updated: Friday, February 15, 2019


Drastically Reducing Licences, Procedures and Business Conditions

Posted: Monday, March 12, 2018

By the end of February 2018, Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung, head of the Working Group of the Prime Minister, chaired a review meeting with 16 ministries concerning the reform of specialised inspection of imported and exported commodities and business conditions.

Slow-moving progress
Representatives of attending ministries and agencies presented plans and schemes to reduce the list of goods subject to specialised inspection, simplify inspection procedures, and reduce business conditions. For example, the Ministry of Transport will cut 282 business conditions stated in 20 different decrees. However, Deputy Finance Minister Do Hoang Anh Tuan, a member of the Working Group, said that the rate of specialised inspection of shipments decreased to just 26 per cent from 35 per cent in 2017. Even if it drops to 15 per cent in 2018, it is still higher than the average rate of 7 per cent in other nations.

Remarking on the progress of the tasks by ministries, Dr Nguyen Dinh Cung, President of Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), said that outcomes have been so far uneven, with some ministries doing the job fast and achieving good results like the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and some yet to take action. “Where leaders, particularly ministers, provide close and firm direction, outcomes are good and progress is quick. This shows that ministers are not going on the same pace. Outcomes illustrate the determination of ministries. In general, reform hesitations remain common.”

Citing the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which is quite quick at reforming specialised inspections of imports, exports and business conditions, Mr Cung said the ministry is reducing procedures rapidly but it still takes 4-5 months to issue official decrees after it gets started. In 2018, the Government wants 11 ministries to have specialised inspection reduced on 50 per cent of goods subject to specialised inspection and 50 per cent inspection procedures. The Ministry of Health has the most goods subject to specialised inspection 802; the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has 7,698 lines of goods categorised into 251 groups of goods; the Ministry of Information and Communications has 143; the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has 110, and the Ministry of Transport has 128.

Dr Tran Dinh Thien, Director of Vietnam Institute of Economics, said, reform momentum is very good, thus building up the very high trust of businesses. But, reports from ministries show that the reduction of the list of goods imposed to specialised inspection is very clear and prompt but very few procedures are proposed for reduction.

Working Group is in close coordination with ministries and branches
Minister Mai Tien Dung said, recent moves taken by ministries have been appreciated by enterprises. However, reforms need to go further in depth to attract investment and boost growth.

According to the request of the Working Group, ministries should rapidly develop formal plans and clarify every issue. From March 15, the Working Group will work with every ministry. Each month, it will check at least four units and extend the check work to district levels.

Minister Dung noted that ministries must carry out the reforms substantially, not combine many different business conditions into one, not replace removed ones with new ones, and not use unclear words to trick businesses. The Working Group will invite representatives of business associations and enterprises to attend its meeting with ministries. General works are reforming inspection methods, applying risk management, changing from pre-check to post-audit, publicising standards and criteria, and not turning standards and criteria into business conditions.

He added that that a report will be sent to the Prime Minister, stressing avoidance of overlapping inspections among ministries. The Working Group will suggest making a decree, issuing in the order of reductions to amend many decrees on slashing business conditions. Minister Dung also said that if there are different points of view between the Working Group and Government Office, business associations and enterprises will be invited to perform further reviews to promulgate the most legal documents by June 30, so as to cut off more business conditions.

Nguyen Thanh

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