Northern highland provinces seek more sci-tech funds

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Officials from 14 northern mountainous provinces on Friday asked for funds for science and technology development to be increased, the local newswire Vnexpress reported.


Leaders of the provincial Departments of Science and Technology suggested the state budget outlay for science and technology in their area be raised to 2 percent from the current 0.5-0.7 percent.


They were speaking at a meeting held in Bac Giang Province with the Ministry of Science and Technology and provincial governments.


The officials said current investments are too low and insufficient to conduct quality scientific research or help local businesses upgrade their technology.


Deputy minister Le Dinh Tien said at the meeting he will consider the request.


Tien said the ministry will issue instructions about using science and technology funds at the provincial level, and pledged the ministry will cut red tape to help science and technology departments have more control over the funding they receive.


So far, the budget for science and technology has been maintained by provincial People's Committees as part of funds for overall development of the provinces.


The average investment in science and technology nationwide accounts for around 2 percent of the state budget.

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