Overview of the meeting (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Members of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee gave their opinions on a draft resolution regarding environmental protection taxes during their sitting on July 12 as part of the committee’s 25th meeting.

In his report on the draft resolution, Ministry of Finance Dinh Tien Dung said that amidst the current socio-economic situation, it is necessary to adjust the tax for goods that are subjected by the Law on Environmental Protection Tax.

Under the report, the tax for petrol will increase to its ceiling of 4,000 VND per litre from the 3,000 VND per litre, while that of diesel will be 2,000 VND per litre instead of 1,500 VND.

Meanwhile, the tax rate for anthracite fuel will rise to 30,000 VND per tonne, and that for plastic bags will go up by 10,000 VND per kilo to reach 50,000 VND per kilo.

Minister Dung clarified that the changes will add 0.11-10.15 percent to the average consumer price index (CPI) in 2018. However, this escalation in the tax is hoped to encourage people to use energy and natural resources in a more economical and efficient manner, while promoting the production and consumption of environmentally-friendly products and contributing to raising the State budget collection by 15.18 trillion VND per year.

The Government proposes that the resolution should become effective 45 days from the signing date.

Chairman of the NA Committee for Finance and Budget Nguyen Duc Hai said that the committee agrees with the purpose of the resolution and its necessity.

However, in order to ensure social consensus in the issue, the committee suggests that the Government be more transparent about the effects it will have on the economy, the production and business of enterprises, as well as people’s living conditions and the CPI.

At the session, representatives expressed their concerns regarding the resolution’s timing, roadmap, the target of controlling inflation, and social effect.

Concerned about the significant increase in petrol tax, Chairman of the NA’s Committee on External Affairs Nguyen Van Giau said that the rise will result in an upturn in the prices of consumer goods, affecting the society and the whole economy.

NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said that the collection of 15-16 trillion VND (about 688 million USD) is worth a slight rise in inflation as the sum can be used for environmental protection.

She asked financial, tax, customs, and market management agencies to foster the check and supervision of petrol enterprises’ business performance, in order to stabilise the market and prices.

Due to differences in opinions, the NA leader proposed a delay in voting for the resolution until further discussions had gone underway.

Previously, the NA Standing Committee had also taken time to debate plans to allocate investment from the State budget for the remainder of the 2016-2020 period, as well as plans for the distribution of capital spent on the National Target Programme for the East Sea and Islands for the 2016-2020 period.

They also gave ideas on the use of 15 trillion VND from the reserve source for the middle-term plan on State budget for the 2016-2020 period towards investing in major railway and urgent road projects. -VNA