Vietnam PM apologizes for bad economic management

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung admitted to and apologized for the government's poor management of the economy at a high-profile National Assembly session that begun in Hanoi Monday.

Dung apologized to the unicameral parliament and the people at the 4th session of the 11th National Assembly. The session is scheduled to last until November 23.

"I take serious political responsibility as the leader of the government and sincerely apologize to the National Assembly, the Party and the people for all the shortcomings and weaknesses of the government in leadership and management, especially in the inspection and supervision of economic groups and state-owned corporations such as Vinashin and Vinalines, which produced ineffective business and production results and committed wrongdoings, causing losses and serious consequences in various aspects and affecting the prestige and the role of the state-owned economic sector," he said.

Dung said the leaders of Party committees at all ministries and every member of the government understood the weaknesses and had learned lessons.

Addressing a report on the country's 2012 socio-economic situation, Dung told the assembly that inflation had gradually come under control as the consumer price index (CPI) between January and September rose by only 5.13 percent year-on-year.

The government will take several measures in the remaining months to keep inflation at around 8 percent this year, he said.

"The nine-month economic growth reached 4.73 percent and annual growth is estimated to hit 5.2 percent, lower than the set target (6-6.5 percent), but lower inflation and a stabilized macro economy are positive signs for stable growth in the coming time," he told the meeting.

The government has approved and given instructions for the implementation of the projects aiming to restructure state-owned enterprizes, financial markets, the banking sector and investment practices, according to the prime minister.

Project investors are responsible for the quality and effectiveness of construction works and their responsibilities have been clearly defined, he said.

National Assembly chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung had also admitted that the country was facing economic difficulties in his speech that opened the meeting last week.

The government has admitted to not fulfilling five of its 15 targets for the year, including its major targets on economic growth and employment, Hung said. The targets were previously set by the National Assembly.

According to Hung, the country is facing myriad challenges: stagnation, slow economic growth, high inflation and the ineffective management of markets and prices. He said all of these factors had "badly affected" people's lives.

On the other hand, the slumping economy is not only a local phenomenon, he said, adding that the public debt crisis had not yet eased in the Europe while international trade disputes and political and economic conflicts were on the increase.

During the month-long session, the legislative body will revise government reports on this year's implementation of socio-economic development plans and the state budget and draw up plans and a state budget for 2013.

The assembly will also consider the approval of nine bills.

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