In the opening speech of this month’s cabinet meeting in Hanoi on August 27, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung highlighted specific tasks required in order to achieve 5.8 percent growth as planned for this year.

Barriers affecting growth in agriculture, industry and the service sector must be removed, he said, demanding easier access to credit, the settlement of bad debts and a crackdown on counterfeit products.

Regarding economic restructuring, PM Dung prioritised the restructuring of public investment, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), commercial banks and agriculture.

Improvements have already been made in the restructuring of public investment, but this needs to continue if inefficiency is to be avoided, he said. The leader also pushed for a radical and strict approach to reshuffling ineffective SOEs and banks, saying that “for the sake of the banking system and the people, weak banks must be put under control, or undergo acquisitions or be shut down if needed”.

In terms of administrative reforms, Dung insisted that by the end of 2015 the time required for customs procedures needs to be halved, and tax filings need to be processed in no more than 200 hours, instead of the 500 hours required at present.

Insurance formalities are also to be processed quicker, accelerating the time they take from 300 hours to less than 100 hours. Similarly, the timeframes for procedures on investments, construction, land acquisition and power supply is to be cut by a third or halved, he directed.

Ministers must continue to look for and reduce formalities undermining the competitiveness of the economy, he said.

Looking towards socio-economic performance in 2015, the government leader called on ministers to develop initiatives for achieving an increase in gross domestic product of 6-6.2 percent, higher than the growth target for 2014, as proposed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MoPI).

According to MoPI forecasts, the economy was expected to expand by 5.54 percent during the first nine months of this year, but difficulties for the future remain.

The two-day meeting will also address a range of other issues, such as examining the draft budget task implementation in 2014; devising a plan for issuing government bonds overseas; formulating incentives for scientific and technological establishments; developing a pilot mechanism to grant autonomy to public universities; and launching a scheme for updating textbooks.-VNA