Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked ministries, sectors and State-owned enterprises (SOEs) to speed up their restructuring, saying that if the work is not completed as schedule, their leading officials should voluntarily step down.

Addressing a Government conference to review the restructuring of SOEs in the first seven months of 2014 in Hanoi on August 6, PM Dung noted that the important tasks are to re-arrange and strengthen the managerial personnel and make the divestment process transparent.

Ministries and sectors need to better policies to deal with difficulties arising during the restructuring and equitisation, he added.

The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs was requested to work out measures coping with labour redundancy during the process. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was urged to intensify assistance for ethnic people who have participated in forest planting and protection.

According to a report by the National Steering Committee for Enterprise Reform and Development, 76 businesses have been re-organised so far this year, of which 55 were re-arranged, two dissolved, 15 merged, three filed for bankruptcy and one was sold.

Several ministries, localities and enterprises remain sluggish in restructuring, including the Ministries of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Health, and Industry and Trade, the provinces of Binh Dinh, Nghe An, Quang Ninh and Tay Ninh and the Vietnam National Chemical Group. Meanwhile, 84 businesses reported making no progress at all.

In the first seven months, SOES divested 2.975 trillion VND (140 million USD), showing a threefold rise from 2013. The process remains slow in comparison with the set plan.-VNA