Starting from the 2018 fiscal year, only Government ministers or officials of equivalent rank can purchase Government cars. The current use of Government cars by lower ranking officials will also be reviewed.

The NA Finance and Budget Committee proposed major cuts in funding for ceremonial activities, festivals and other meetings.

The Government affirms its efforts to cut spending in the time to come at the ongoing fourth session of the 14th National Assembly. 

Notably, budgets for opening ceremonies for infrastructure projects and other activities not included in Government-approved lists will not be allowed, according to the committee’s Chairman Nguyen Duc Hai.

Most of the committee’s members approved the Government’s plan to increase base salary by 7 percent but stressed the importance of downsizing the State payroll. The committee also called for measures to improve Governmental offices and agencies’ financial accountability.

Major adjustments were also proposed for the country’s Competition Law, which was passed in 2004. More than a decade later with the country engaging in an increasingly globalized world, there is a need to expand and improve the law to ensure Vietnamese government agencies’ ability to monitor and regulate complex international businesses, according to Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh.

Anh said the draft amended Competition Law will limit and regulate business activities that may enhance monopolies and restrict unfair competition. The draft will also provide government agencies with a legal foundation to enforce Vietnamese laws and regulation on unfair business that takes place outside the country.

Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien discussed a number of issues with the draft amended Sport Law with the highlight being the Government’s view on sports betting.

Thien said the majority of Government members (19/27) approved the draft, with sports betting being limited to a handful of activities, namely horse racing, dog racing and a pilot program for betting on international football based on a Government decree issued in January this year.

However, other members argued that sports betting is a complicated and sensitive issue for Vietnamese society with major potential impacts on social order. They urged further consideration and additional time to review the impact of the decree, which came into effect on March 31.

Chairman of the NA’s Culture and Education Committee Phan Thanh Binh said while there is demand to regulate sports betting and potential to attract investment for the country’s sport industry, the committee advised more time is needed to review the impacts it may have on society. Binh asked agencies to produce detailed reports on such impacts and present them to NA deputies.

Source: VNA