23 November 2011

Vietnam Announces a 2012 Defence Budget of VND70 trillion (3.3 billion USD)

23 November 2011

Vietnam will strengthen its naval capability (photo : ttvnol)

30 bln USD set aside for construction, socio-economic tasks

The Government will earmark almost 634 trillion VND (30 billion USD) of the 2012 State budget for activities such as construction, debt payment and other socio-economic and national defence tasks.

More than 80 percent of the country's National Assembly (NA) deputies reached consensus on the final allocation and its breakdown at the ongoing second session of the 13th tenure's meeting in Hanoi on Nov. 14.

The bulk of the sum, over 526 trillion VND (25 billion USD), would be spent on development investments including basic construction (4.5 billion USD), trade, tourism and investment promotions. The allotment would also be allocated to funds for preferential loans for the disadvantaged and labour exports.

The programme on East Sea, island and maritime police, and key oil and gas projects will receive 2.9 trillion VND (138 million USD) and 3.5 trillion VND (166 million USD) respectively from the capital construction development category.

The Government will also spend 100 trillion VND (4.76 billion USD) to pay back debts and 98.8 trillion VND in aid offerings.

National defence was allocated 70 trillion VND (3.3 billion USD), with half the sum (35 trillion VND) going to security.

Salary reform activities will receive 43.3 trillion VND (2 billion USD).

The breakdown for each sector, ministry, central-level agency and individual provinces and cities was also included in the allocation plan.

The NA agreed with the Government's proposal to add 3 percent to this year's budget for the 50 localities that are eligible to receive State funding.

With the aim of spurring tourism, law-makers also agreed to offer 820 billion VND (39 million USD) in aid to 55 provinces to build tourism infrastructure. Specific allocation plans will be determined after the Government reviews the urgency and suitable amount for each locality.

The legislature, however, did not agree with suggestions to expand the allocation scale of the State budget beyond the current eligible localities. The NA argued that haphazard investment did not go with the Government's latest policy to restructure the economy, which required focused and effective investment.

The focus of the investment should be on agriculture, rural development and regions with large areas of land suitable for rice cultivation. These regions, according to the NA, had received limited funding from other economic sectors.

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