The Government on February 28 convened its regular monthly meeting in Hanoi to review this month’s socio-economic issues and work out measures to effectively implement Resolutions of the National Assembly and Government on the 2013 socio-economic development.

Chairing the meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung spoke highly of the country’s positive changes in all fields during the first two months of this year.

Dung said ministries, sectors and localities have taken active measures to implement the government’s resolutions as well as their own plans. In particular, the Lunar New Year Festival was held in a jubilant, healthy, safe and economical manner.

He emphasised that they should continue the efforts to ensure that the Government’s resolutions on the socio-economic development in 2013 and the removal of difficulties for businesses will achieve the desired effects. Resolutions must be concretised into decisions and decrees so as to come into reality, he added.

Authorities need to focus on measures to solve difficulties in and support the development of production, business and investment, as well as deal with inventories and expand market.

The PM asked ministries, sectors and localities to carry out concerted measures to curb inflation, stabilise macro-economy, and prevent smuggling and human trafficking.

He directed the State Bank of Vietnam to be more determined to restructure the banking system, solve bad debts, reduce lending interest and create favourable conditions for businesses.

Along with economic development, Dung urged ministries, sectors and localities to pay more attention to social welfare policies.

At the meeting, Cabinet members agreed that the Prime Minister’s directions on stabilising price, promoting production, solving difficulties in the real estate market and preparing for the Lunar New Year have gained positive achievements.

In February, lending interest rate in VND decreased slightly compared to last month’s figure while the foreign currency market remained stable.

In the first two months of this year, disbursement of foreign direct investment was estimated to reach 1.05 billion USD, up by 5 percent from the same period last year.

As of February 1, the inventory of the processing and manufacturing industries decreased 2.8 percent compared to the previous month.

Notably, the February Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by only 1.32 percent from last month and was the lowest in the past four years. The increase of 2.59 percent in CPI in the first two months was also a low rate over the past years.

However, Cabinet members said that the Government must not be subjective and needs to pay more attention to price control, continue strengthening market management and price stabilisation, ensure the supply and transport of goods, especially food and food stuff, and limit the sudden rise of price after the Lunar New Year festival so as to make the 2013 inflation lower than that in 2012.

More drastic measures should be taken to deal with difficulties in production and business, reduce inventories, solve bad debts, implement social welfare policies better and carry out effectively programmes on reducing poverty and building new rural areas, they added.

During the meeting, participants also offered opinions on projects and measures to adapt to climate change and protect environmental resources and a pilot model on organising urban authority.-VNA