Lawmakers call for more concrete economic plan

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Members of the National Assembly, Vietnam's top legislative body, said the government needs to be more specific with its plan to restructure the economy, demanding to see real action rather than just promises.

The government last week revealed its economic reforms for 2012, aiming to focus on three main areas: public investment, banking and state-owned companies.

Deputy Nguyen Ngoc Hoa of Ho Chi Minh City said the measures announced are still too generic and are not backed by any concrete plan.

Hoa said the government needs to be focused on speeding up share sales at state companies and reviewing related regulations to see why processes have been delayed. When state companies become more appealing to investors, they will not have to depend on commercial banks for capital anymore, he added.

Do Van Duong, another representative from the southern city, said that banking reforms will require breaking down the system into smaller categories and restructuring them all. 

The government should strengthen oversight to ensure a safe banking system, Duong said.

Deputy Tran Du Lich said state-owned enterprises will need a well-developed plan and timeline from the government in order to know what to do next. The companies themselves will also have to be more transparent to facilitate restructuring, he said.

Commenting on the plan to reduce public investment, Lich said the government should be more specific about which sectors and provinces will be on the priority list to be financed by the state budget.

The National Assembly needs such information to make decisions concerning the use of the state budget for next year, Lich said, adding that he was worried that it could be too late already.

Representative Nguyen Thi Nguyet Huong from Hanoi said the government had been talking about restructuring the economy for years with little progress actually having been made.

She said if the government plans to cut its investment, it needs to offer incentives to attract capital from the private sector.

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