The State in 2009 overspent by around 114 trillion VND (5.5 billion USD), equivalent to 6.9 percent of the country's GDP and within acceptable levels as set by the National Assembly.

The results form part of a 2009 State budget report presented at the NA Standing Committee's 41th session, chaired by Party General Secretary and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong, held on June 29.

Minister of Finance Vu Van Ninh said that 2009 overspending resulted from a Government stimulus package through which the money had been used to set targets.

Government public debt accounted for 42 percent of the country's GDP while foreign debt made up 39 percent, Ninh added.

Phung Quoc Hien, Chairman of the NA's Finance-Budget Committee, said that, although the NA had allowed budget overspending to increase from 4.82 percent of the GDP to under 7 percent just in case budget collection decreased, State collection in 2009 was higher than estimated and the overspending rate of 0.1 percent was under the allowed level.

The inefficient use of State budget had increased the Government's debt to 42 percent of the GDP, proving that the management of budget collection and spending were not efficient enough, Hien said.

Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan said that the Government should clearly clarify responsibilities in the management of collection and spending sources, investment projects and borrowing capital.

NA Deputy Chairman Nguyen Duc Kien called on the Government to punish violations in spending State money.

The Government has submitted 52 law and ordinance projects to the National Assembly for review within the 2012 law and ordinance building programme, according to Minister of Justice Ha Hung Cuong.

The projects were presented at a working session of the National Assembly Standing Committee (NASC), Chaired by Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Uong Chu Luu, in the afternoon of June 29.

Reviewing the implementation of the law and ordinance building programme over the past 12 months, NA Legal Committee Chairman Nguyen Van Thuan said that although there had been advances, certain shortcomings still needed addressing.

Thuan cited several law projects, including the Vietnam Sea Law and Cryptography Law, still in need of modification many times after being submitted to the NA.

"What is worth noting is the attitude of several law makers in thinking that the first submission of a law to the NA would allow room for improvement, accordingly submitting drafts whose quality could have been better had they been compiled with the right attitude," Thuan said.

He pointed out that this specific issue had been around for a long time and that it had to be addressed successfully so that any new law and ordinance building programme could be implemented effectively.

The tentative working agenda for the law and ordinance building programme during the next six months will focus on the Water Resources (amended), Tertiary Education, Cryptography, Vietnam Sea laws, and the amended law on some provisions of the Tax Management and Anti- Money Laundering laws as well as NASC's Ordinance environmental protection tax fees.

Thuan said that projects based on amending and adding laws and ordinances related to administrative procedures will affect every individual and organisation across fields.

"Running such projects will require more in-depth research," he said, asking the Government to compile a report on the implementation of laws and ordinances related to administrative procedures and those projects should be implemented at the right time.

The Chairman of the NA Ombudsman Committee, Tran The Vuong, requested the Government to clarify roles related to law and ordinance compilation in order to avoid overlapping.

NA Deputy Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong said that more attention needed to be paid to laws covering trade unions, the elderly, land and labour.

She added that the NA should spend more time mulling over adjustments to the institutional role of the State President in order to better serve current reality./.