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Completing institutionalization, promoting people’s right to mastery, successfu-lly implementing tasks of 2014 and creating foundation for rapid and sustainable development
29/7/2014 14:43' Send Print
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. Source: chinhphu.vn

Implementing the Party Central Committee’s conclusion, the National Assembly and the Government issued resolutions on socio-economic development in 2014 which set out to increase macro-economy stability, control inflation, remove obstacles, create conditions for production and business, speed up economic restructuring with the aim of recording a higher growth rate than 2013. Guarantee social security and social welfare and improve people’s life. Strengthen national defense and security. Enhance effectiveness of external relations and international integration.(1)

Although the world economy have shown signs of recovery, and the domestic socio-economic situation has seen positive changes, difficulties and challenges remain great, requiring the entire political system to act in unison with higher determination to successfully fulfil the 2014 socio-economic tasks. At the same time, middle- and long-term measures should be implemented in a drastic and synchronous way to lay the foundations for rapid and sustainable development. Concentrate efforts on building the law-governed State, bring into play people’s right to mastery, complete institutionalization of the socialist-oriented market economy and restructure agriculture in combination with new-style rural development.

I

We are living at a time of globalization and in-depth international integration. Accession into Free Trade Agreements with higher requirements and comprehensiveness creates opportunities of cooperation for development as well as increases mutual reliance and fierce competition. Annual reports of many international organizations have ranked competitive capacity of economies. This is an important reference indicator on each country’s position in the global competition. Countries having high competitive capacities will have more opportunities to strive forward with rapid and sustainable development.

Competitive capacity is determined by several factors, of which institutional quality and business environment are of primary importance. Institutional quality as a factor itself does not only have impacts but exerts important influence on business environment and competitive capacity of the whole economy and each business and constitutes a prerequisite to effectively promote national advantages. There will be no high competitive capacity without high institutional quality and modern national governance.

Looking back over the past 30 years, we find that Viet Nam’s gigantic developments have been associated with decisive institutional renovations to expand democracy, implement a market mechanism in economic activities with a major and comprehensive breakthrough since the 6th Party Congress.

The breakthrough in agricultural management started with the implementation of the 10 contractual system, transforming Viet Nam from a country in short supply of food to a world leading exporter of rice and other agricultural products. Strong expansion of freedom of business together with the promulgation of the Law on Company, Law on Enterprises and Law on Foreign Investment… have brought Viet Nam’s economy out of inertia to develop dynamically with high speed. Proactive international integration has created new and wider development space.

The Party and State’s appropriate renewal policies have turned Viet Nam from an underdeveloped country into a middle-income developing nation. Viet Nam’s efforts on hunger eradication and poverty reduction have achieved impressive results which have been highly appreciated by the international community.

In recent years, Viet Nam’s competitive capacity has slowly improved. So do economic growth and restructuring while many pressing issues have emerged in society. One of the reasons behind this is that momentum created by previous reforms is no longer strong enough to foster development. It is time for a driving force of Viet Nam to regain rapid growth and sustainable development. That momentum must come from institutional reform and the promotion of the people's right to mastery.

Democracy is a great ideology of President Ho Chi Minh. He pointed out that Viet Nam was a democratic country where all power belonged to the people. The Communist Party of Viet Nam affirms that democracy is a goal as well as driving force for national construction and defense. Democracy is also the objective trend in the development process of humankind. The shifts from slavery to feudal regimes and from feudal to capitalist regimes are long democratic strides. The socialist regime which Viet Nam is building should be democratically superior and the Communist Party of Viet Nam should firmly hold the democratic banner. Strengthening the Party’s leadership and the State’s management are to promote people’s right to mastery. Democracy will bring into play creativity of each people, contributing to removing complex and consolidating social and national great unity association.

Given quick development of science and technology, especially information technology, Vietnamese young generations have been equipped with increasingly high knowledge. The majority of them have often accessed the Internet to exchange, study, explore and review practices. They are playing and will play a decisive role towards national development and destiny. This is a pressure and a favorable condition for Viet Nam to strengthen democracy and complete institution.

Democracy and the law-governed State are “twin sisters” in a modern political institution. Together with ensuring democracy, President Ho Chi Minh paid special attention to building the law-governed State. He wrote: “All issues should be regulated by laws.” The law-governed State should abide by the law. The law should be guaranteed by justice and common sense. All restrictions to citizens’ right to freedom should be carefully considered and should only be for national defense, national security and guarantee of social order and safety and national cultural, historical and ethical values. People have rights to do things which are not prohibited by law and use law to protect their rights and legitimate interests. State offices, cadres and public employees can only do things which are permitted by law. All state management decisions should be transparent.

The 2013 Constitution adopted by the National Assembly recently has opened up a new constitutional space for Viet Nam to realize Ho Chi Minh’s great ideals. No country can be able to exercise direct democracy at all levels as well as in all aspects of social life. However, the wider, deeper and more substantial direct democracy is realized the more effective the representative democracy becomes. Thus, relations between direct democracy and representative democracy should be taken into consideration while developing solutions to ensure people’s right to mastery. Expand direct democracy and complete the election mechanism of the National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels. Early pilot election of chairmen of communal People’s Committees directly by people in line with the Resolution of the 5th Party Central Committee (10th Tenure). In addition, complete social criticism mechanism; enhance people’s participation in policy-making process and cadre selection. Improve hearing session quality of the National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels and accountability of policy-making agencies’ leaders.

To bring into full play people’s right to mastery, the State should carry out well the function of development creation. The State does not replace people in fulfilling their work but concentrates on building appropriate institutional framework and creating necessary conditions for every people to play up their capacity and creativity in their interests and make contribution to society. The country can only be strong when the people are better-off. Socialization is not only to mobilize resources but facilitate implementation of functions which can better done by society. Only by so doing can we build a streamline and effective state administrative apparatus.

The State should guarantee and promote the people’s right to mastery, especially the right to participating in policy-making, selection of their representatives and property ownership. The right to mastery should go hand in hand with social responsibility and citizen’s obligations, first and foremost law observance.

The State should create equal competitive environment regulated by market mechanism; closely control and abolish business monopoly as well as policies and mechanisms which lead to unequal competition. Laws and policies should bring about best advantages to all people and enterprises in their production and businesses. National resources should be distributed to potential subjects to yield maximal efficiency to the country.

The State should develop policies on training high quality human resources and mobilize resources for investing in socio-economic infrastructure construction. Be proactive and active in international integration, and create favorable environment and conditions for national construction and defense.

The State should build, once and for all, a streamline and effective apparatus with a contingent of virtuous, capable and highly-qualified cadres and public employees. Clear duties should be assigned to each agency and public employee. Result-based assessment is used to evaluate organizations, cadres and public employees’ performance. Performance assessment criteria and monitoring mechanism should be completed. Leaders of administrative agencies should be responsible for implementing assigned duties and be given corresponding authority in terms of organization and personnel.

Increase interaction among state agencies and between stage agencies with political and social organizations. Extend dialogue with people and businesses through different forms so that State agencies, cadres and public employees stay closer to the people. State lines, policies and laws are more linked to practices. Coordination among legislative, executive and judicial agencies should ensure independence of their assigned functions while mutually controlling and supporting each other as prescribed by laws. Accelerate delegation, bring into play subordinates’ proactive efforts and creativity and ensure unified management of the whole system. Constantly consolidate political and social stability.

In that spirit, in 2014, concentrate all efforts to build and revise laws to implement the Constitution. At the same time, review and supplement institution, policies, mechanisms and complete apparatus organization to continue building the State governed by law, strongly promote people’s right to mastery and complete the institutionalization of the socialist-oriented market economy. Heighten efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement, discipline and order to build a clean and strong State apparatus. Uphold the Government collective responsibility and responsibility of each cabinet member in building and promulgating quality legal documents in time.

II

Over the past years, Viet Nam has made great strides in socialist-oriented market economy institutionalization by creating an equal environment for competition and administrative reform. This is a strategic breakthrough target set by the 11th Party Congress Resolution. In the socialist-oriented market economy, market economy laws should be respected while tools to regulate and policies on distributions should be developed and used to ensure equity and social progress. In the coming time, continue to take uniform measures to implement successfully the strategic breakthrough, concentrating on solving two important and closely related issues which are applying market prices to essential commodities and services, while ensuring fair competition.

Consistently applying market prices to all commodities and services. Prices of commodities and services fixed by the State should be correctly calculated, fully account for costs and be transparent of all elements which make up prices and persistently realize market prices according to appropriate roadmap. Simultaneously develop policies to support the poor, beneficiaries of social welfare, ethnic minority people and those in remote areas.

All businesses of different economic sectors should operate according to market mechanism. Abolish business monopoly and policies and mechanisms which cause inequality in business, especially in access to resources.

Resolutely restructure State-owned enterprises, including State economic groups, focusing on equitizing State-owned enterprises, withdraw capital which is invested in outside businesses and sell capital which the State does not need to maintain according to market principles including those of effectively operating enterprises. State-owned enterprises will only operate in core and essential sectors, in important areas and in the field of national defense. Separate production and business duties from political and public duties. Complete the mechanism to exercise State ownership and representative of State ownership in enterprises. Strengthen State owners’ management, monitoring and control. Complete the contingent of managers and improve their capacity on business administration. State enterprises’ performance should be made transparent as prescribed by law. Duly punish acts of law violations and failure to implement the approved Program on restructuring.

Only by so doing can Viet Nam create an equal competitive environment, enhance effective operation of State-owned enterprises, consolidate the strength of the State economy and contribute to macro-economic stability and economic restructuring.

III

Implementing the renovation policies, Viet Nam’s agriculture has made outstanding development, making great contribution to the country’s achievements. In recent years, growth in the agricultural sector had slowed down, with many shortcomings revealed which are typical of small-scale, poorly-connected household production with low productivity and poor quality while competition becomes increasingly fiercer. That is why, it is necessary to carry out three strategic breakthroughs, renew growth model and restructure the economy, especially step up agricultural restructuring in the direction of enhancing added value and promoting sustainable development in line with the building of new-style rural areas.

This is an important content in economic restructuring and also an urgent demand for rigorous implementation through synchronous solutions with focus on stepping up scientific and technological applications and reorganization of agricultural production.

Farmers should be placed in the central position as subject in implementing agriculture restructuring and building new-style rural areas. The State should develop policies to push up wide scientific and technological applications, particularly biological and information technology in agricultural production and management and speed up industrialization of agriculture and modernization of rural areas. Encourage development of different forms of cooperatives and diversified linkages, especially among farmers and businesses in production and services in suitable scale. Form value chain, ensure harmonious interests of participating subjects from production, processing to sale. Concentrate on developing products with comparative advantages, capable of competing and having sale market. Gradually establish agricultural-industrial-high tech service complexes which are closely associated with farmers and aim towards establishing multi-function and sustainable agricultural production model.

Attract high investment from business sector to rural areas, develop production and business in agriculture, industry and services; attach importance to agricultural product processing and labor-intensive industries to promote land concentration and labor structure and rural economy transition. Renovate methodology and enhance efficiency of vocational training. Mobilize resources to invest in building infrastructure. Effectively implement the program on sustainable poverty reduction. Pay attention to environmental protection; and preserve and promote cultural identity, fine traditions and customs of Vietnamese villages.

Promptly make initial review of the implementation of the Resolution of the 7th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (10th Tenure) on agriculture, farmers and rural areas to accelerate agricultural restructuring and building of rural areas.

IV

Over the past three years since the 11th Party Congress, the entire Party, army and people of Viet Nam have faced many difficulties and challenges. Viet Nam has devoted efforts and resources to solve immediate problems and achieved important results. At the same time, Viet Nam has set store by implementing medium- and long-term tasks but failed short of expectation. Realities show that if these tasks are not well implemented, there will be neither guarantee for firm macro-economic stability, effective exploitation of the country’s potential and international integration opportunity nor foundation for rapid and sustainable development.

Our tasks are very heavy. Difficulties and challenges are big. However, this is an opportunity to push forward renovation, requiring high political resolve and stuff. Our Party and People’s stuff shown in the struggle for national independence and unification. That stuff also manifested when the country had to face the socio-economic crisis in the early years of the 1980s in the previous century to develop renovation policies.

Today, Viet Nam’s position and strength have been much stronger. It is certain that that stuff will surely shine again to comprehensively promote the renovation in light of the 11th Party Congress Resolution, bringing the cause of national construction and defense to a new height for a socialist Viet Nam, prosperous people, strong country and democratic, equitable and civilized society./.

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(1) With the following targets: Strive to achieve GDP growth rate of approximately 5.8%; per capita GDP of US$ 2,100; export turnover increase by 10%; import turnover of 6% of export turnover; consumer price index (CPI) increase by about 7%; total investment in social development equivalent to 30% of GDP; State budget deficit about 5.3% of GDP. Poor household reduction of 1.7%-02%, in particular poor district reduction of 4%; job generation for 1.6 million laborers; employment rate in urban areas below 4%; laborers’ training of 52%; per capita income increase by 20%; under-five child malnutrition prevalence reduction to below 15.5%; hospital beds per 10.000 people (excluding communal health station beds) of 22.5 beds. The percentage of production units which cause serious environment pollution and are handled 85%; the percentage of operating industrial and export production zones which are equipped with waste water treatment systems 80% and the percentage of forest coverage 41.5%.

This article was published on Communist Review No 856 (February 2014)

Nguyen Tan DungPolitburo member, Prime Minister