The Ministry of Science and Technology proposed to allocate more than 13.3 trillion VND (640 million USD) from next year's State budget toward development, an increase of 12 percent.

The proposal was introduced at a three-day meeting held by the National Assembly's Committee of Science, Technology and Environment, which opened Oct. 17.

The Prime Minister has ratified a plan that will increase the number of inventions patented for protection by 50 percent for the period of 2011-15, as compared with the last five years.

In addition, the plan will set about 4,000 national standards and 1,000 technical standards in order to ensure that all products comply with regulations on food hygiene, safety and environment protection.

The ministry also aims to have 3,000 enterprises operating in the field of science and technology by 2015, along with establishment of 30 organisations with modern facilities equipped to carry out scientific research.

To achieve these goals, the ministry said that annual investment for science and technology development to 2015 will keep increasing and eventually account for 2.2 – 2.3 percent of the State budget.

In addition, it intends to boost privatisation of scientific and technological activities. The ministry also proposed allowing small and medium enterprises to spend 10 percent of their pre-tax profits in science and technology development.

According to Deputy Minister Chu Ngoc Anh, the National Assembly approved a total sum of nearly 11.5 trillion VND (550 million USD) to develop science and technology in 2011, an increase of 12.5 percent compared with that of last year.

Localities also made significant progress in their efforts to raise the efficiency of expenditures. Money was reportedly spent on scientific research and development, but some localities were still found using funds for the wrong purposes, he added.

The portion of the State budget devoted to environment protection, the implementation of Son La and Lai Chau hydroelectric plants and Ho Chi Minh Highway will also be discussed at the meeting. /.