The State Audit Office of Vietnam holds a press conference this morning (Photo: tienphong.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – The State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAOV) has announced the official figure of the 2014 public debt at more than 2.28 quadrillion VND (102.7 billion USD), yet hinting that it might have reached higher than that.

Vietnam’s public debt as of December 31, 2014 was equal to 58.02 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP) the same year, SAOV told the press on August 26.

The public debt quickly increased by 17.1 percent or 333.3 trillion VND compared to 2013, according to the SAOV audit report.

The audit authorities also said that the Ministry of Finance which was in charge of tracking the public debt, failed to provide sufficient documents and evidence for it to confirm the colossal 102.7billion USD debt as the final number or not.

“Though the audited public debt index was generally in line with the Law on Public Debt Management, its content could very well be repeated or yet to fully record all the Government’s debts,” said the SAOV General Services Department Director Dao Van Dung.

The official public debt amount in 2014 turned out to be slightly lower than the previous report of the World Bank which believed that Vietnam’s public debt hiked up to 2.35 quadrillion VND.

Administration overspending

The Government in 2014 overspent nearly 250 trillion VND to run the administrative system, reported the SAOV.

It was 11 percent higher than the budget amount allowed for administration spending that the National Assembly previously set at 224 trillion VND.

Costs to run the administration even surpassed the budget for investment and development by at least 910 billion VND, which failed to hold up the principle of balancing State budget spending, said the SAOV.

The audit office also called out the decision in which the central budget, financially manage the operations of the ministries and other State-level organisations, had 45 trillion VND borrowing from the State Treasury to fill in the overspending gap. Such decision was not in accordance with the Law on the State Budget or any other relevant regulations.

Yet this was not the first time it happened. The SAOV reported that the central budget had that kind of budget borrowing year by year, and the total amount already reached up to 120.7 trillion VND as of December 31, 2014.

“Meanwhile there have been no due dates for payback, which will affect the liquidity of the State Treasury system in the long-term and possibly make negative impacts to how we can keep a sustainable budget balancing,” Dung said.-VNA