National Assembly expected to discuss solutions to urgent issues in second session
The second session of the 15th National Assembly which opened on October 20 is expected to discuss a series of socio-economic issues that have arisen after the fourth pandemic wave.
National Assembly Deputies at the first session
Since late July, when the first session of the 15th National Assembly ended to now, the country has experienced unprecedented events because of the fourth wave, especially in HCM City and neighboring provinces. Twenty-three provinces had to impose lockdowns, while most of the remaining localities had to implement social distancing.
In HCM City, the GRDP (Gross Regional Domestic Product) was minus 24.39 percent in the third quarter and minus 4.98 percent in the first nine months of the year, figures which had never been seen before in a city that is the ‘locomotive’ of the national economy.
The country witnessed the minus 6.17 percent growth rate in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, which has forced the GDP growth rate in the first nine months of the year to 1.42 percent, the lowest since 2000.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment reported that the number of enterprises withdrawing from the market in the first eight months of the year was 85,500, an increase of 24, 2 percent over the same period in 2020. Of this, 24,000 enterprises, or 28.1 percent, were based in HCM City, an increase of 6.6 percent.
Economists have predicted that the growth rate for the year 2021 will be 3 percent, much lower than the 6 percent target set by the National Assembly.
Enterprises’ activities and people’s lives are facing difficulties, especially in areas applying anti-pandemic measures under Directive 16.
A high number of businesses have had to suspend operation, have been dissolved or have gone bankrupt. Bad debts are likely to increase with risks for the finance and monetary market, macroeconomic stability and business environment.
The fourth plenum of the Party Committee in early October pointed out that it’s necessary to change the way of thinking and have more awareness about preventing, fighting and controlling the pandemic in association with maintaining, restoring and developing production and business.
As such, the country needs to keep fighting both ‘fronts’ – fighting the pandemic and developing the economy.
Reserving budget for vaccines, drugs
Regarding the fight against the pandemic, the Government has released Directive 128 which says Vietnam needs to safely and flexibly adapt to Covid-19 and effectively control the pandemic, instead of pursuing the zero Covid strategy.
To date, Vietnam has received 92.5 million doses of vaccines and 61 million doses have been used. About 60.2 percent of people aged 18 and over have had at least one shot and 24.7 percent have been fully vaccinated. The proportion of people having at least one shot has risen more rapidly than some other regional countries and the world’s average rate.
Experts say that it was a good decision for Vietnam to shift from zero-Covid to a safe and flexible policy.
To live together with the pandemic, the only way is to use vaccines and drugs. Other countries began buying vaccines very early and started the race for drugs.
The issue needs to be put into discussion at the agenda of the session. Money needs to be reserved in the budget for vaccines so that the country has ‘weapons’ to fight the pandemic.
One policy for all localities
|Differing rules to control the entry and exit in localities must be stopped. If the situation cannot improve, the dual goal of both fighting the pandemic and developing the economy will be unattainable, not to mention the revival of disrupted goods and labor supply chains.|
A series of international finance institutions, including World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB), have updated their predictions about Vietnam’s economic growth rates this year. The figures are much lower than the previous predictions, and even lower than other regional countries.
Domestic institutions have given similar forecasts. We have controlled the fourth Covid wave, but have incurred serious economic damages.
Maintaining production and business and ensuring goods circulation for businesses and livelihoods for people must not be implemented with extreme measures, applied differently in different localities.
Differing rules to control the entry and exit in localities must be stopped. If the situation cannot improve, the dual goal of both fighting the pandemic and developing the economy will be unattainable, not to mention the revival of disrupted goods and labor supply chains.
Many local officers are afraid of taking responsibility, so they would rather close their doors and impose isolation to prevent the spread of the virus. They don’t understand the difficulties enterprises and people have. These cadres should be named.
The National Assembly has released Resolution 30, giving more power to the Government and Prime Minister. By releasing the resolution, the National Assembly shows it is an acting legislative agency, and a fellow traveler of the Government and the entire political system in pandemic prevention and control.
How Resolution 30 has been implemented is a question that needs to be answered at the session. There are also questions from people and businesses about the economic stimulus packages.
The urgent issues are expected to be discussed by the people’s delegates to find reasonable solutions that satisfy voters’ aspirations.
After the Government issued Resolution 128 a number of cities and provinces began changing their pandemic prevention and control measures, facilitating production, goods circulation and people’s livelihoods.
Local administrations should avoid measures contrary to Government’s COVID-19 adaptation plan: Health ministry
Deputy health minister Do Xuan Tuyen urged local administrations to not set policies that go against the spirit and letter of the Government’s Resolution 128, released last week on the national plan to live with COVID-19.