State budget revenue dropped by 1.9 percent in the first two months of the year to 114.8 trillion VND (5.52 billion USD), accounting for 14.1 percent of the year’s estimated total.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the decrease was mainly due to weak domestic revenue, which totalled 80 trillion VND (3.85 billion USD), equivalent to 14.7 percent of the target for the full year and 1.5 percent less than what was collected in the same period last year.

Domestic business and production were still struggling, inventories continued to be high and consumption of goods and services was still slow.

The extension of the deadline to pay value added tax (VAT) from last June to the upcoming April also affected domestic revenue.

In the first two months of the year, only 27 out of 63 provinces and cities saw collections for the state reach the estimated total of 16 percent, while 11 localities - including the economic hubs of Hanoi and HCM City – saw fewer contributions than predicted.

Collection from export-import activities reached 27.92 trillion VND (1.34 billion USD), equal to 11.8 percent of the year’s estimate and a decrease of 3.1 percent year on year, as export-import turnover of many commodities with high import tax rates saw a sharp decline.

Turnover of crude oil, automobiles and motorbikes fell by 40 percent, 69 percent and 70 percent respectively.

However, crude oil continued to be a significant source of State budget revenue, accounting for 16.98 trillion VND (816 million USD), or 17.2 percent of the year’s target, thanks to a 25 USD per barrel increase in the world crude oil price to an average price of 115 USD per barrel.

The issuance of government bonds raised over 43.8 trillion VND (2.1 billion USD), equal to 22.4 percent of the annual target - making up for state budget deficits.

The Ministry also noted that in general, State budget spending in the last two months has corresponded roughly to estimates.

Money from the budget has gone towards ensuring social security, helping localities overcome the consequences of natural disasters, price stabilisation and providing 29,000 tonnes of rice to the poor during Tet.

In the first two months, the State budget’s overspending was estimated at 23.035 trillion VND (1.1 billion USD), or 14.2 percent of the year’s target.-VNA