Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (third from left) 
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has offered a number of specific instructions after being updated on the positive socio-economic performance during January-August, asking to continue maintaining firmly macro-economic stability

Inflation was kept below 1 percent while monthly revenues to the State budget surpassed their target thanks to a 16 percent increase in domestic tax collection, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh told a monthly government meeting held in Hanoi from August 31-September 1.

He optimistically predicted that the growth of the 2015 gross domestic product would be 0.2 percent higher than the original objective to reach 6.4 percent and the total exports would climb 10 percent.

The PM agreed to the Cabinet’s appeal to sustain macro-economic stability – a prerequisite for rapid and sustainable country development. A set of synchronous measures will be put in place to raise exports by 10 percent and push the trade deficit down to 5 percent and bad debt to below 3 percent.

He demanded further improvement of the business climate by fine-tuning legal regulations and drastically restructuring the economy with a focus on agriculture, State-owned enterprises and the banking system.

On sustainable poverty reduction and social welfare, more attention will be paid to vocational training, the manpower market and public healthcare.

Hailing education-training reform, he said the recently-held national high school graduation examination met expectations with results used as the basis for university entrance admission. While mentioning flaws arising in the first stage of university and college admission, he asked the Ministry of Education and Training to learn from experience and improve during the second stage.

He also urged ministries, agencies and localities to strengthen national defence-security and maintain political security, social order and safety.

With regards to the 2016 socio-economic development plan, the leader gave his opinions on targets for economic growth, exports, social investment, budget overspending and environmental indicators.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh and ministries and agencies concerned were asked to thoroughly consider State budget estimates for 2016 and for 2016-2020, including the possibility of selling part of State stake in corporations and groups and raising the minimum wage.

The government leader requested continued examinations of the total capital amount based on set regulations for the 2016-2020 public investment plan.

In terms of target programmes for 2016-2020, 16 national target programmes will be reduced to two focusing on sustainable poverty reduction and new rural construction. As many as 61 target programmes initiated by ministries and agencies will be cut to 21 in order to avoid overlapping.

Turning to a proposal to increase pensions for low-income earners retiring before April 1993, the PM said the National Wage Council and the National Steering Committee on Salary Reform will carefully consider the matter.

Also at the meeting, the government discussed a report on land use until 2020 and several bills.

At the follow-up conference, Minister and Chairman of the Office of the Government Nguyen Van Nen said the PM instructed sectors to keep a close eye on regional and global economic situations, especially that of China and work out scenarios for prompt response.

The government will not adjust socio-economic targets set earlier, Nen said, adding that 13 out of the set 14 socio-economic norms for the year will be achieved.-VNA