Vietnam PM calls halt to public car purchases

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked ministries to stop buying new cars and other vehicles for their public missions in an effort to decrease public spending, VnExpress reported Thursday.

The order also covers vehicles that are used for emergency missions and national defense purposes, the newswire said, citing letters recently sent by the government's office to the ministries of finance, planning and investment, and public security.

However, in case agencies really need to make purchases, they need to get the PM's approval.

The purchase of all stationeries, working equipment and other properties worth over VND100 million (US$4,796) by state agencies is also restricted. These cannot be bought without the approval of provincial chiefs or heads of ministry-level agencies

While the order also placed restrictions on the purchase of public properties by projects implemented with Official Development Assistance (ODA), it excluded projects with grant aid, according to the VnExpress report.

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The purchase has to be made in accordance with agreements between the government and sponsors, it said.

According to the Finance Ministry, as of June 24 last year, Vietnam had 25,667 public cars worth VND12.739 trillion ($610.9 million) in total, the VnExpress report said.

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