The finance ministry has proposed stricter rules for the purchase and use of government vehicles, saying expenses on the existing 40,000 cars are too high.
Tran Duc Thang, a senior official in charge of public assets, told a press briefing on Friday that the official cars now cost nearly VND12.8 trillion (US$575 million) a year, including payments for drivers, fuel costs and maintenance fees.
“That is just unreasonably high given the difficult budget situation,” Thang said.
The number does not include cars used by military forces and state-owned companies.
Thang said the ministry has proposed limiting each government office to only two vehicles. That can help reduce the number of official cars by 7,000.
The ministry also wants to introduce a new rule that will only allow top officials to bring official cars home. Others, particularly those at district level, will have to strictly use government cars for only official travels.
Thang also suggested that the government buy cars, and other products, in large quantities to cut costs.
Good planning can help cut total official government purchases by $1.3 billion a year, from the current $9 billion.
Vietnam has imposed a temporary ban on official vehicle purchases for several years.