State budget revenue surpassed the yearly target to hit 831.19 trillion VND (38.7 billion USD) as of December 22 despite economic troubles, Deputy Finance Minister Tran Xuan Ha informed a conference in Hanoi on December 24.

Of the extra revenue, 10 trillion VND (476 million USD) will be transferred to 2015 to spend on State payroll and the remaining will be used for debt payment.

The deputy minister noted that overspending this year has been kept within 5.3 percent of the GDP as set by the National Assembly.

Reforms in tax filing and customs formalities have helped businesses save time and costs, from 537 hours to 247 hours, Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung told the conference reviewing the State financial-budget activities 2014 and setting orientations for 2015.

Regarding inflation control, the minister attributed the low CPI growth of over 4 percent to the close management of market prices.

He reported that as of November, 90 out of 108 State economic groups and corporations had their restructuring schemes approved. During the 11-month period, 115 State-owned enterprises were equitised while 62 others were merged.

SOEs have withdrawn over 2.4 trillion VND (114 million USD) from non-core business activities, up 2.5 times from last year’s same period.

However, the pace of divestment and equitisation remains slow, Deputy Minister Ha acknowledged.

At the same time, Minister Dinh Tien Dung pointed out issues that led to losses of State revenues, such as violations in value-added tax refund, smuggling, trade frauds and transfer pricing.

The amount of corporate tax debt currently stands at approximately 71 trillion VND (3.3 billion USD), higher than the 2013 figure. Since the beginning of this year, the financial sector has collected about 30 trillion VND (1.4 billion VND) worth of corporate tax debt and the customs sector collected more than 1.7 trillion VND (85 million USD).

The large outstanding debt amount is put down to ailing demand that resulted in large inventories, pushing a number of firms into tax default.

The financial sector set the 2015 goal of collecting 911.1 trillion VND (43.3 billion USD) for the State budget, with overspending at 5 percent of the GDP as approved by the National Assembly.

Minister Dung vowed to keep a close tab on State budget spending, market prices and public debts in order to meet liabilities, while fine-tuning policies in taxation, customs, budget, corporate financial management, securities market, and accounting-audit services in line with economic restructuring.

He also requested keeping market prices during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday in check and ensuring sufficient supply of essentials.-VNA