Ministries and localities have been told not to buy cars this year unless otherwise dictated by a comprehensive review of the number of State-owned cars (Photo: infonet.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - Ministries and localities have been told not to buy cars this year unless otherwise dictated by a comprehensive review of the  number of State-owned cars.

Deputy Minister of Finance Nguyen Huu Chi, who issued the order, said it was aimed to tighten public spending and improve the effectiveness of using public property. Instead of buying additional cars, ministries and localities should pay a travel allowance to officials who were previously eligible to use State-owned cars or to rent cars, he said.

Chi also ordered the ministries and localities not to use money from Official Development Assistance (ODA) and preferential and commercial loans to buy State-owned cars.

Management boards of foreign-aid projects that want to buy cars are required to submit a detailed plan to the finance ministry for approval, he said.

Since March 1, Hanoi is the first locality in the country to carry out a pilot programme of travel allowances to officials of the departments of transport, finance, planning and investment, labour, invalid and social affairs, as well as State-agencies in the districts of Ha Dong, Long Bien, Thanh Tri and Gia Lam.

The maximal travel allowance is 9.3 million VND (407 USD) a month.

Mai Xuan Vinh, head of the Finance Department’s Public Property Management Office, said redundant State-owned cars at the agencies would be handed over to the city administration, which would allocate them to other State-agencies lacking State-owned cars. Schools and hospitals were among those on the priority list.

Data from the city’s Finance Department showed the city has about 400 State-owned cars, with the cost to run a car about 223 million VND (9,750 USD) each year.

The programme is expected to save the capital budget 50 billion VND (2.2 million USD) a year. The city plans to introduce the programme at all State-agencies by October.-VNA