Cabinet members and leaders of centrally-run cities and provinces have agreed to continue giving priority to curbing inflation and stabilising the macro economy for 2012 and the coming years.

They also agreed to keep the socio-economic development targets set from the beginning of the year at the Government’s online June meeting. Under the chair of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi on July 2 and 3, they reviewed the socio-economic management in the first half of the year and put forth solutions for the remaining half of the year.

At the meeting, cabinet members said positive changes were seen in socio-economic fields in the months to June of 2012, achieving comprehensive results in many fields.

Thanks to strong, synchronous measures such as tightened monetary policy, reduced public spending and increasing efficiency of public investment, a downward trend has been seen in price hike since July 2011.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in June increased by 2.52 percent compared to last December and 6.9 percent over the same period of 2011.

These factors acted as basis for curbing the inflation rate this year at 7-8 percent, thus facilitating the implementation of the fiscal policies to stimulate growth.

In the six-month period, the country’s total export value was estimated at over 53.1 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 22.2 percent.

The economic growth was lower than that in the same period last year and the set plan but it showed an improvement in the second quarter of this year. The GDP growth rate is expected to reach 4.38 percent in the first six months of the year.

Industrial production, especially the processing industry, has seen positive results despite difficulties due to high input cost, lending interest rates, slow consumption and increased inventory.

Besides, agro-forestry and fisheries production recorded stable growth of 3.8 percent, of which agriculture grew 3 percent, forestry, 5.7 percent and seafood, 5.8 percent.

In regard to ensuring social welfares, all levels and branches have implemented effectively their related policies, including providing credits for ethnic minority families to settle their life, supporting sustainable poverty reduction in disadvantaged districts, providing social allowance, vocational training and adjusting the monthly minimum wage.

However, the cabinet members admitted that there still exist shortcomings and challenges, such as lower economic growth, high rate of goods inventory and increasing number of enterprises dissolving or declaring bankruptcy.

At the online meeting, leaders of centrally-run cities and provinces all affirmed the determination to implement resolutions with the government and Prime Minister’s steering and coordination in order to successfully achieve the socio-economic development targets set for 2012 and the coming years. Particular attention will be given to curbing inflation, stabilising the macro economy, removing obstacles from production and business, maintaining growth and ensuring social security.

Concluding the session, Prime Minister Dung highlighted the nation’s joint efforts, affirming that socio-economic development is on the right track. The results create a good prospect for the remaining half of the year, said PM Dung.

The PM stated that in the remaining months of the year, the growth rate should be kept at 5.2-5.7 percent.

He also requested the State Bank of Vietnam continue effective and flexible management of monetary policies’ tools, accelerate the reduction of lending interest rates, stabilise the exchange rate and propose reasonable credit steering measures.

The SBV should be active in dealing with bad debts, restructuring weak commercial banks and make it easier for enterprises to access capital.

The Government leader suggested relevant ministries and departments support production with priorities given to agriculture, rural areas, production of goods for exports, supporting industry, small and medium sized enterprises and increasing the quality of goods improving their market share.

He also asked the Finance Ministry to calculate budget collections and expenses and keep the budgets within the level approved by the National Assembly.

The ministry should implement the fiscal policy reasonably in combination with monetary and credit policies to increase the economy’s total demands and encourage foreign investment in high-tech works, he said.

PM Dung also proposed ministries, departments and localities to generate jobs and ensure social security, traffic safety and timely provision of information for the press to create consensus in the society to fulfill the set targets.

At the meeting, cabinet members discussed the itinerary and scheme to reduce corporate income tax, value-added tax, State corporations and groups’ capital withdrawal scheme and the national environmental protection draft strategy, until 2020 and vision to 2030.-VNA