Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh at the working session (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Finance (MoF) should take people and businesses’ satisfaction as the meter of its administrative reforms’ effectiveness, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said at a working session with the ministry in Hanoi on August 3.

Binh, who is also Chairman of the Government’s steering committee for administrative reform, applauded the MoF’s reform outcomes while pointing out shortcomings such as the vagueness of some legal documents which cause their interpretation and application to vary among authotised agencies and businesses.

While the handling of some administrative procedures is still irksome, many customs and taxation officers’ sense of responsibility remains low, he said.

He requested the ministry press ahead with applying synchronous solutions to removing bottlenecks for people and businesses, reforming taxation and customs procedures, and cutting down the procedure handling duration.

It needs to apply information technology in its subordinate bodies, promote information transparency and updates, raise its employees’ sense of responsibility, and abolish overlapping procedures, Binh noted.

At the meeting, the MoF reported that its coordination with relevant sides has reeled in positive reform outcomes.

It now takes businesses 117 hours a year to pay taxes instead of 537 hours in the past. The customs clearance duration has been decreased from 21 days to 14 days for exports and 13 days for imports.

The ministry has invalidated 63 procedures and streamlined 50 others on domestic taxation. Up to 128 customs procedures have been replaced. It has also terminated 84 procedures and suggested simplification measures for 11 others related to customs.

Notably, the MoF has applied e-customs systems at all of the local customs sub-departments, it said.

The same day, Deputy PM Binh also examined administrative reforms at the General Department of Taxation, asking it to review tax-related policies and regulations for fine-turning if neccessary.

The general department said the tax payment duration’s decline to 117 hours a year has surpassed the target set in the Government’s Resolution 19/NQ-CP and is comparable to the average of ASEAN countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

The reduction of 420 hours in tax payment time can help businesses save more than 7 trillion VND (313.8 million USD) per year, it noted.-VNA