Monday, 11/12/2017
Promoting responsibility, studying, discussing, considering and deciding reports, schemes, resolutions and conclusions of the Party Central Committee*
23/11/2017 16:41' Send Print
Party and State leaders and delegates adopt the agenda of the Plenum. Photo: VNA

Implementing the agenda of the whole tenure, the Party Central Committee convened its 6th Plenum to assess the socio-economic and financial-budget situation in 2017, discuss socio-economic development plan and financial-budgetary estimates in 2018; the improvement of the people's healthcare and population work in the new situation; continued renovation of the organizational and management system, improvement of quality and efficiency of public non-productive units; some issues on continuing renovation and rearranging and streamlining the apparatus of the political system for effective and efficient operation; and some other important issues.

On behalf of the Politburo, and the Secretariat, I warmly welcome the members of the Party Central Committee, and invited delegates to the Plenum and would like to extend to you my best wishes.

According to working regulations, the Party Central Committee Office sent documents to you for prior study and preparation for comments at the Plenum. Now, I would like to make some suggestions, and emphasize some issues for you to consider, review, and decide during discussion.

On the socio-economic and financial-budgetary situation in 2017, socio-economic development plan and financial- budgetary estimates in 2018.

This is the annual work at the year-end Plenum of the Party Central Committee to assess the country's socio-economic, financial and budgetary situation, clearly identify strong and weak points in the leadership and direction of the Party Central Committee, the National Assembly, the Government, and the entire political system to uphold the good and promptly rectify and overcome the bad, thus contributing to successfully achieving annual and five-year socio-economic development objectives and tasks. Therefore, it is of practical significance.

You are requested to carefully study the Report of the Government Party caucus, based on the actual national and international situation as well as situation of branches, fields and places of work to discuss, analyze, evaluate objectively and comprehensively the development in the past nine months and make forecast until the end of the year; point out outstanding achievements, constraints and weaknesses, especially new positive factors, and newly arising issues.

Attention must be given to assess the implementation of the objectives and tasks set forth by the Resolution of the 12th Party Congress and resolutions of the Central Committee on rapid and sustainable socio-economic development; implementation of the 3 strategic breakthroughs: renewal of growth model, restructure of the economy; perfection of the socialist-oriented market economy; renovation and improvement of the efficiency of State-owned enterprises; development of private economic sector as an important driving force of the economy.

Specifically, it is necessary to determine why some tasks have not been done; some objectives have yet to be fully achieved in the first 6 months of the year compared with the same period last year despite more favorable national and international situation in 2017 than in 2016.

Based on that assessment, forecast possibilities in the future, anticipate difficulties and challenges to overcome, especially those cropping up while we are overcoming limitations, inherent and long-standing weaknesses of the economy; financial-monetary risks, especially when public debts, bad debts are high, and many state-owned enterprises have suffered losses. Define the most important targets for 2018; make highly feasible policies and measures, especially breakthrough policies and measures to renovate the growth model, restructure the economy, restructure the state budget, control public debts; restructure the system of credit institutions in association with dealing with bad debts. Accelerate the restructuring of public investment, state-owned enterprises and public non-productive units. Improve growth quality, business, and investment environment to mobilize and use resources more effectively, and ensure the rapid and sustainable development of the economy, society and the environment.

On the improvement of the people's health

Up to now, the Party and State of Vietnam have always identified that health is the most precious asset of every citizen and society; protection and improvement of the people's health are a particularly important task relating to everyone, every family and the entire society, and is of profound political, social and humanitarian significance, showing the superiority of our regime. On 14 January 1993, the 7th Party Central Committee issued a specialized resolution on urgent issues in public healthcare. In 2005, the 9th Party Politburo also issued a resolution on this issue. Since then, the Politburo, the Secretariat has issued 8 directives, 3 conclusions, 4 announcements and paid attention to the leadership, direction for implementation.

Under the leadership of the Party Central Committee, the entire Party, people and army, especially medical staff and health workers throughout the country have made great efforts to implement policies and measures to strengthen the protection, and improvement of the people's health, obtaining many important results. Vietnam is considered by the World Health Organization as a bright spot in achieving the Millennium Development Goals in public healthcare.

However, in face of new requirements in the new stage of development of the country, there remain weaknesses and shortcomings in the protection and improvement of the people's health. Some incidents have caused social resentment. In order to bring into play results and achievements and improve the people's health in the new situation, the Party Central Committee must discuss and issue a resolution on the issue.

On the basis of the reports and schemes of the Politburo and actual situation, I request the Central Committee to discuss, analyze and reach high consensus on the results, strengths, successes as well as limitations, weaknesses and lessons learned in the protection and improvement of the people's health in the past time; point out opportunities, advantages to grasp in time and difficulties and challenges to overcome in the future. After that, identify viewpoints, objectives and key tasks and solutions to be implemented in the new period.

In terms of opportunities and advantages, are the results and successes recorded in this aspect similar to great achievements of historic significance during the 30 years of renovation, the outstanding development of medical science and technology under the impact of the 4th industrial revolution, globalization and international integration? On difficulties and advantages, isn’t it necessary to point to constraints and weaknesses in the health sector and related areas; rapid changes in living conditions, lifestyles, living and working environments, types of diseases; limited resources of the State and difficulties in mobilization of social resources? On lessons learned, isn’t it necessary to affirm the Party leadership, the State management, the active participation of both political system and the people; the key role of hospitals and public health facilities; the importance of properly application of the market mechanism to mobilize, allocate and effectively use all resources for the protection and improvement of the people's health in association with the socialist orientation and the superiority of the our regime, such as healthcare system at grassroots level, to manage and provide health service in each commune, ward, agency, unit in the years when the country was more difficult than it is today? In terms of viewpoint and orientation, isn’t it necessary to better combine disease prevention and treatment; health care and protection; eastern and western medicine; grassroots and higher-level health services; state budget investment and autonomy and socialization; all people healthcare and training of leading doctors, and experts?

About the population work in the new situation

This is a very big and difficult issue of special importance, relating to the protection and development of race, country and nation. Over the past 25 years, our country has persistently and firmly implemented the population and family planning policy, small size family of two children in the spirit of the Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the 7th Party Central Committee. Beside results and achievements there remain limitations, and weaknesses arising from new issues which need timely direction to resolve. For example, remarkable discrepancy in fertility rates across regions.

The imbalance of the sex ratio at birth has alarmingly increased and expanded. Vietnam is entering a period of "aging population," facing the risk of "not yet rich but aging," and missing the opportunity of the "golden population period." There are constraints in control of population and migration, especially free migration. Population quality, especially height and physical strength has been slowly improved. Underage and consanguinity marriages have still been common in some areas of ethnic minorities; the proportion of people with disabilities in the population is high.

Building on unanimity of opinions on the situation and the development trend in the coming time, the Central Committee is asked to thoroughly analyze the causes of limitations and weaknesses and draw lessons from success stories as well as failure in population work in Vietnam and international best practices. Then, set out leading viewpoints, objectives and tasks, appropriate solutions to seize opportunities and advantages, overcome challenges and difficulties, and improve the work on population in the new situation. Isn’t it necessary for Vietnam to shift focus from population policy and family planning to population and development in the coming time? What are the specific implications of these concepts? What is its practical meaning? Focus on analyzing background and necessity and correctness of shifting from reduction of population growth through thorough and concerted implementation of the policy of 2-children family to control population scale and quality by maintaining the replacement-level fertility.

Pay attention to the feasibility and appropriateness of the selected objectives and proposed policies and measures, particularly, the options of population size and policies to comprehensively and synchronously address population issues, such as the maintenance of replacement-level fertility; bring the sex ratio at birth to the natural equilibrium; capitalize on the "golden population structure"; adapt to population aging; manage migration, especially free migration; and improve population quality.

Some issues on continuing to renovate and streamline the political system apparatus for effective and efficient operation

The Submission and Report of the Politburo clarify the significance, importance, necessity and scope of the scheme "Some issues on continuing to renovate and streamline the political system apparatus for effective and efficient operation.” The Politburo recognizes that this task is big and very important but very difficult, complex and sensitive, as it deals with fundamental theoretical issues of the Party leadership, State management and people’s right to mastery; synchronous renovation of the political system and economic reform; relations between the State, market and society; and it relates to the interests, feelings and sentiment of officials, public employees, civil servants and laborers.

Over the years, the Communist Party of Vietnam has issued and regularly paid attention to leading and directing the implementation of lines, resolutions and conclusions on organizing the apparatus of the political system. Party and State organizations, the Fatherland Front and socio-political organizations have been gradually rearranged and completed; functions, tasks and working relationships of organizations in the political system have been better defined and adjusted, thus ensuring the Party leadership, State management, and rights to mastery of the people, recording important results, contributing to great achievements of historical significance in the cause of renovation.

However, the current system is bulky and inefficient due to the overlap in the functions and authority of certain organizations, inappropriate inner structure; the organizational structure of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and mass organizations and public non-business units have been slowly renovated; organization and staff are expanding; the number of deputy directors, and the number of managers with director-equivalent status are unreasonable; there are constraints in the structure and quality of cadres, public employees and civil servants; the number of indirect staff is too high amid the shortage of direct specialised human resources. Too many people in public non-productive units receive salaries from the state and the number of non-professional staffs are increasing at communal level.

You are requested to concentrate on reviewing and assessing objectively and comprehensively the situation and causes, especially the causes of shortcomings and weaknesses. At the same time, given your leadership and management experience at workplace, study and apply lessons learned from reviewing theory and practices over the past 30 years of renovation, make recommendations to finalize viewpoints, objectives, tasks and solutions for the coming time.

Isn’t it necessary to attach special importance to innovation, system, synchronization, and linkage; harmonious combination of inheritance, and stability with innovation, and development; refrain from haste and avoid shifting from one extreme to the other; associate organizational reforms with renovation of leadership methods, personnel streamlining and salary reform; harmoniously handle relations between the State, market and society?

The tasks and solutions proposed should be appropriate, feasible, with roadmap, and firm steps, meeting immediate and long- term requirements, contributing to solving problems in the apparatus of the political system as well as specific organizations of the Party, the State, the Vietnam Fatherland Front and socio-political organizations, particularly inner apparatus of each agency, and unit. Resolute actions must be taken on what are clear and ripen. For what is unclear, too complicated, and diverse in opinions, further study and pilot are needed before reviewing and scaling up.

Continuing to renovate the organizational and management system, improving the quality and efficiency of public non-productive units.

The Vietnamese Party and State have issued many important documents and actively led and directed the political system to implement policies and measures to renovate the organization and operation of public non-productive units, gaining initial important results. However, there are still many shortcomings, weaknesses that cause social concern and many difficulties and challenges to be overcome, especially in the reorganization and renovation of mechanisms and policies to capitalize the wisdom and dedication of intellectuals, experts, scientists and high quality technical workers in this field, improvement public service quality to meet the increasing demands of the people and contribute to resolving problem in organization, personnel, and salary reform of the whole political system.

Not to mention the police, army and the state-owned business sector, there are about 58,000 public non-productive agencies with 2.5 million employees nationwide at present. They provide most public services related to every people, family and the entire society, such as health services, education and training, science and technology, physical training and sports. Therefore, the renovation of organization, improvement of service quality and performance of these units are very necessary, having profound economic, culture, social, humanitarian significance, contributing to rapid and sustainable socialist-oriented development, and showing the superiority of our regime.

You are requested to objectively and comprehensively analyze and assess the situation, causes and lessons learned. Attention should be given to in-depth analysis of the significance and importance of continuing to renovate public non-productive units as well as State-owned enterprises in a synchronous, affirmative, cautious, and firm manner in the overall renewal of the apparatus of the political system; the necessity to promote the socialization of public services (socialization but not commercialization), promote positive aspects, limit the negative aspects of the market mechanism, and international integration. Defining clearly the leadership of the Party, the management of the State, the right to mastery of the people, the role and position of public non-productive units in the context of developing the socialist-oriented market economy, international integration and the fourth industrial revolution.

Then, set out viewpoints, objectives and directions to further renovate organization and improve the quality of services and performance of public non-productive units in association with ensuring socio-political stability in general and of each sector, specific field in particular. Give attention to inheritance, promotion of the recorded results and successes; based on realities and development levels of our country to review, supplement and perfect highly feasible mechanisms and policies, especially new and breakthrough mechanisms and policies. 

The agenda of this Plenum of the Party Central Committee covers many issues, both fundamental and urgent, relating to annual socio-economic development, social renewal and development, political renovation together with economic renewal in the spirit of the Resolution of the 12th Party Congress. All are important, complex and sensitive issues that have direct impacts on the people’s life, cadres, officials, civil servants and laborers throughout the country and capture people’s special attention and expectations.

I ask you to show responsibility, studying, discussing and making recommendations to finalize reports, schemes, resolutions and conclusions of the Central Committee and decide some other important issues at the end of the session.

In that spirit, I declare the 6th Plenum of the 12th Party Central Committee open. I wish the session success.

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* Title selected by the Communist Review

This article was published in the Communist Review No. 900 (October 2017)

Nguyen Phu Trong,General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam