Vietnam tax collection slows, but no plans to tinker with deficit target

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The government faced a budget deficit in the first quarter, but tax authorities have promised to make all efforts to keep the deficits to targeted levels.

VnExpress quoted Deputy Minister of Finance Vu Thi Mai as saying tax revenues grew at an "extremely slow" pace in the first three months, growing by 2.6 percent less than in the same period last year to reach VND167.7 trillion (US$8.05 billion).

Spending was up 6 percent at VND218.4 trillion.

The ministry would find it difficult to keep the deficit at below 4.8 percent of revenue as targeted, but it would try, Mai said, adding however that it is "too soon" to tweak the deficit target.

The ministry said it would next week submit to the National Assembly measures to deal with slowing tax collections.

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But it expects tax revenues to go back up once companies do well again.

Builders of affordable housing will enjoy a 50 percent cut in the value-added tax rate for July 2013-June 2014, while developers of small, low-priced housing will get a 30 percent cut.

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