Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung called for continual efforts to rein in inflation, maintain a stable macro-economy, safeguard social welfare and accelerate production in the remaining months of this year to create a momentum for development in the transitional year of 2013.

Managing prices, controlling inflation and ensuring social welfare will continue to be the focus of plans and tasks in 2013, Dung said when addressing the Cabinet’s November meeting in Hanoi on November 29.

He was optimistic that all 2012 goals, targets and tasks presented by the Government to the Party Central Committee and the National Assembly will be fulfilled as the socio-economic performance in November and the last 11 months demonstrated that it is moving in the right direction.

However, the Government leader pointed out that grave difficulties and challenges still remain ahead.

He gave specific instructions to ministries, sectors and localities, asking them to watch over outlined requirements to contain inflation, stabilise the macro-economy, and keep a close eye on the prices of essential goods like medicines, milk, petroleum and food.

A roadmap to reduce interest rates will continue, Dung said, adding that it is a practical move to manage inflation while stimulating economic growth.

He continued to ask the ministries, sectors and localities to screen their revenues in parallel with managing spending to ensure state budget collection and spending are balanced, while keeping the state budget overspending rate at the level approved by the National Assembly.

PM Dung requested drastic measures to be taken to handle bad debts and inventories, especially in real estate, and accelerate the disbursement of investment capital, particularly government bonds, FDI, and ODA.

He noted that public investment will be safeguarded with increasing surveillance, supervision and inspection.

The Government leader required ministries, sectors and localities to press ahead with measures to remove existing difficulties facing business and production activities, prioritise agricultural development and expand export markets for the country’s advantageous products.

Close coordination between relevant agencies to manage the domestic market, prices and sufficient goods stocks for the upcoming traditional New Year festival must exist. The import of goods and foodstuff must be tightened for the occasion, Dung emphasised.

He demanded relevant agencies to devise plans for the traditional New Year festival, which will fall in February, 2013. He reminded them to implement social welfare policies and programmes for the poor, ensure traffic safety and food hygiene, and end cross-border smuggling of poultry.

Dung underlined the need to promote the dissemination of information, especially the supply of information to the press, to create agreement among people and fulfilment of all set targets.

At the meeting, the cabinet members, however, noted that the macro economy is unstable, with the rate of inflation threatening to rise again.

At the same time, bad debts have been settled slowly and may rise while some weak banks are being restructured unhurriedly.

The cabinet members shared the view that Consumer Price Index is likely to grow at a high rate due to increasing foodstuff demands for the traditional New Year (Tet) festival.

They agreed that the year’s CPI must be kept at 8 percent, as set in the beginning of the year, to create a firm foundation for the country in 2013 and following years.

It was reported that the CPI fell dramatically from 2.2 percent in September (the highest level since the beginning of 2012) to 0.85 percent in October and 0.47 percent in November.

This was the result of measures implemented to stabilise prices in the market, especially the Prime Minister’s instruction on enhanced price management, regulation and stabilisation in the year-end period.

Exports continued to see high growth, improving trade and overall balance as well as increasing the State’s foreign currency reserves.

In the first 11 months of the year, total export value is estimated to exceed 104 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 18.4 percent, while import value, 103.98 billion USD, a rise of 6.8 percent over the same period last year, bringing in balanced trade.

The industrial production index increased by 4.8 percent over the previous month and 6.7 percent compared to the same period last year.

Despite impacts from natural disasters, there was stable development in agricultural production.

In the 11-month period, Vietnam welcomed over 6 million international tourists, a year-on-year rise of 11.4 percent.

The country generated additional jobs for 1.39 million people, fulfilling 86.9 percent of set targets. 72,500 of these workers went abroad, meeting 85 percent of the target.

At the meeting, the cabinet members discussed a project to renovate the collaboration mechanism in macro economy management and steering in the 2012-2020 period, and a master plan on economic restructuring in combination with a shifting growth model to improve competitiveness in quality and effectiveness.

The revised Law on Thrift Practice and Wastefulness Prevention, the Law on the Amendment and Supplement of a Number of Articles of the Residence Law were also tabled for discussion.-VNA