Vietnam seeks to downsize government

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The Ministry of Home Affairs has released a draft resolution seeking to downsize the government by around 3.5 percent as part of efforts to improve efficiency.

The resolution to reduce the 2.8-million government workforce by 100,000 has been placed to gather public opinion, and the ministry has also sought the opinions of ministries, other agencies, and local administrations.

The resolution envisages the 100,000 employees leaving between 2014 and 2020, with 80 percent of them being allowed to retire before reaching retirement age and 20 percent dismissed.

The exercise is expected to cost around VND8 trillion (US$379.3 million) in pensions and other payments.

Employees working in areas they are not qualified for and those who are not competent enough or were assigned as government representatives in state-owned enterprises which have since been privatized will be laid off.

Last year deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said 30 percent of public servants fail to do their work efficiently.

But since current policies do not allow salaries to be based on merit, both incompetent and excellent workers are rewarded equally.

Recruitment to the government sector is still plagued by corruption, he said.

But Phuc’s charge about 30 percent of government workers being inefficient was rejected by Minister of Home Affairs Nguyen Thai Binh, who claimed there was no basis for it.

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