The Government’s regular meeting - April 2021
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Ha Noi, May 6, 2021
THE GOVERNMENT’S REGULAR MEETING – APRIL 2021
Pursuant to the Law on Organization of the Government dated June 19, 2015; the Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Organization of the Government and the Law on Organization of Local Governments dated November 22, 2019;
Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No. 138/2016/ND-CP dated October 01, 2016 promulgating the working regulation of the Government;
Based on the discussion of the delegates and the conclusion of the Prime Minister at the Government’s regular meeting in April 2021, held on May 5, 2021,
1. Some recently emerging issues related to COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control, and the implementation of import, manufacturing, and vaccination policies
The COVID-19 pandemic continued to evolve complicatedly globally, including in several neighboring countries. Domestically, since April 29, 2021, clusters of community infections were detected in many localities. The pandemic situation has been more complicated, causing greater impact and making it more difficult to foster recovery. The Government and the Prime Minister provided timely, drastic, and practical instructions to control and prevent the disease outbreaks. However, many provinces, agencies and units remained subjective, negligent and unmindful or even showed weak sense of responsibility, tolerating loopholes in immigration and accommodation management for foreigners, having lax management of centralized quarantine and post-quarantine medical surveillance while the new coronavirus variants could spread quickly and became harder to detect. There remained a relatively high risk of COVID-19 outbreaks continuing to emerge on a large scale. Outbreaks could occur at any time without strict and effective control. Therefore, the Government requested:
- Heads of ministries and branches, secretaries of Party committees at all levels, Chairpersons of People's Committees at all levels, Presidents of the Fatherland Front and local mass organizations shall strengthen leadership, inspection and supervision, tighten discipline and order; decentralize and assign to particular individuals the responsibilities for pandemic prevention and control; stay calm, lucid and alert in implementing their tasks, prevent the tendency to neglect, become complacent, lose guard or be panic, confuse, wavering, fear or extreme in the application of pandemic prevention and control measures; mobilize and gather the great national solidarity bloc so that every individual and every family could focus on pandemic containment effectively. Based on lessons learnt over the past time, it is necessary to have more appropriate and effective measures to combat the pandemic in the new situation.
Organize the strict implementation of the instructions of the Party Secretariat, the Government, the Prime Minister, and Head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control with the spirit of "Fighting the pandemic like fighting against the enemy", placing interests of the nation and the people, as well as the public’s health first and foremost. Continue to comply with the “5K vaccine” principles and strengthen technological measures. Utterly avoid being neglective, subjective, or unprepared, which could cause costly consequences. Resolutely handle irresponsible acts, violations against pandemic prevention and control regulations, including considering employing criminal prosecutions. Rectify and strengthen the application of technological measures in management, treatment, isolation, and quarantine, as well as post-quarantine medical surveillance. Ministries, branches, and localities shall, based on the specific situation and guidance of the Ministry of Health, proactively adopt appropriate solutions to support affected objects in implementing policies, especially disadvantaged groups in society.
- The Ministry of Health shall assume the prime responsibility for directing and guiding agencies, units and localities to formulate plans to ensure human resources, medicines, medical equipment and means of medical examination and treatment to serve people according to different pandemic scenarios and situation; be readily prepared even for the worst-case scenario of up to 30,000 community infections; review relevant regulations and policies to promptly amend, supplement and complete the legal corridor to develop standards and criteria for determining the status, level of disease infection and specific plans for each situation and outbreak level; at the same time, strengthen the decentralization of management and assignment of powers on pandemic prevention and control associated with attributing the responsibilities of organizations and individuals that had loosened their outbreak prevention and control; and promptly commend and reward organizations and individuals who showed exemplary performance, great efforts and contributions to preventing COVID-19.
- The Ministry of Health shall, based on the direction of the Politburo, the Party Secretariat in Document No. 50-CV/VPTW, Resolution No. 21/NQ-CP of the Government, strictly and proactively take steps to ensure Viet Nam could obtain vaccines and get as many people vaccinated as soon as possible; expand access to vaccine supply sources and rapid testing technologies; speed up the injection of existing vaccines in a transparent and safe manner, and prevent vaccine loss due to expiration; publish on the mass media for people to know and supervise; adopt mechanisms and policies to promote research, development, and trials of home-grown vaccines; prepare reports on vaccine import and manufacturing, and vaccination; arrange and mobilize resources for implementation. The Government will hold a symposium in early May 2021 on this issue.
- Ministries of National Defense, Public Security, Health, and localities, especially border provinces shall arrange forces to strictly control entry and exit of people and means of transportation on the land, waterways and sea borderlines; take resolute measures to prevent and detect in time cases of illegal entry and exit, firmly and strictly handle violations according to the regulations; quickly set up tools, develop specific regulations and policies to tighten management and supervision of concentrated quarantine facilities and post-quarantine medical surveillance, ensuring regulatory compliance and clarity of responsibility.
- The Ministry of Information and Communications shall direct to strengthen communication, ensure to truthfully, objectively, and accurately reflect the nature of the situation and the pandemic prevention and control so that people could have enough information, do not either become neglective, subjective, and off-guard, or be panic, bewildered, and terrified. As a result, people shall participate, supervise, and become determined in the fight against the pandemic.
- Agree that Vietnamese citizens returning from neighboring countries by land shall receive support from the State budget to cover costs, for transportation from arrival sites to a concentrated quarantine facility, screening test for SARS-CoV-2, and other benefits at mandatory quarantine facilities.
- The Government agreed with the Central Committee of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front on how the COVID-19 Prevention and Control Fund will be used. The Viet Nam Fatherland Front was requested to raise donations from organizations, individuals, and businesses to supplement resources for COVID-19 vaccine purchase.
2. The implementation of the Government's Resolution No. 01/NQ-CP, the socio-economic situation in April and the first 4 months of 2021, and upcoming key tasks and solutions
The Government unanimously agreed that: The country continued to witness economic recovery in April and the first four months. The macro-economic situation was relatively stable. Average consumer price index in the first 4 months increased by 0.89%, the lowest rate since 2016. Major balances of the economy were maintained. Monetary market and exchange rates were stable; lending interest rates tended to descend; the liquidity of the system of credit institutions was guaranteed. State budget revenue in 4 months reached 40.5% of the total annual estimates, up 7.3% over the same period in 2020. Tax payment deadline had been extended with a total amount of about VND 24,000 billion according to Decree No. 52/2021/ND-CP. Reports had been made to competent authorities to reallocate VND 12,100 billion of savings from recurrent expenditures in 2020 for vaccine purchase in 2021. Total import-export turnover in 4 months was estimated to increase by 29.5% over the same period last year. Trade surplus reached US$1.29 billion. Industrial production index (IIP) in April increased by 24.1% and 10% in the first 4 months, of which the manufacturing rose by 12.7%compared to 9.7% of the same period last year. Agricultural production remained stable.
Public administration efficiency and provincial competitiveness continued to be improved. Due attention and direction were paid to cultural, social, and environmental fields. Social security and people's life were basically stable. Efforts were made to overcome damage caused by rain and flood in the central region. National defense and security were maintained. Foreign affairs continued to be promoted. Viet Nam successfully fulfilled the role as the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in April 2021, affirming its role and important, proactive, and active contributions in the region through the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting.
Besides the positive results achieved, the country still faced various difficulties and challenges, especially the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Disbursement of public investment changed but remained rather slow. Many businesses, especially those in the fields of tourism, accommodation, entertainment ... struggled with many hurdles. Prices of some production inputs, fuel and raw materials soared. Labor market recovered slowly. Many risks could be latent in the real estate, securities, and gold markets. A number of long-lasting problems have not been substantially resolved. Social security of a part of the population continued to be a challenge, especially the vulnerable groups have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government required ministries, agencies, and localities to continue implementing synchronously, drastically, and effectively Resolutions of the Party and the National Assembly, Resolutions No. 01/NQ-CP and 02/NQ-CP dated January 1, 2021, No. 45/NQ-CP dated April 16, 2021 and other Resolutions of the Government, and directions of the Prime Minister; in which the following key tasks and solutions must be focused:
- Consistently and effectively pursue the "dual goal" of pandemic containment and socio-economic recovery. Maintain macroeconomic stability, control inflation. Promote self-reliance, innovation, decisiveness, and effectiveness in action. Focus on reviewing, taking timely and effective measures to remove problems in institutions, mechanisms, and policies to effectively mobilize all resources for national development. Step up administrative reform, remove difficulties, create the most open and favorable environment for production and business. Actively promote digital transformation in all fields, build a practical and effective digital economy and digital society, focusing on areas that need openness and transparency.
- The Ministry of Planning and Investment shall put forward and organize the drastic and synchronous implementation of solutions to continue promoting the disbursement of public investment capital in due time, ensuring its quality and effectiveness, and not to allow occurrence of any delays; urgently review and evaluate the disbursement of public investment capital in recent years, propose solutions to promote disbursement of public investment capital, especially ODA capital, and report to the Government leaders for consideration and decision-making; coordinate with the Ministry of Finance in assessing and calculating the possibility to disburse foreign capital in 2021 in accordance with the reality and promptly propose appropriate solutions. The Ministry of Planning and Investment was requested to propose a decentralization mechanism associated with strengthening inspection and supervision in the establishment, investment, and expansion of industrial parks, and report this issue to the Government leaders in June 2021. Ministries and central agencies and provinces were requested to resolutely transfer the capital plan from ineffective and slowly-disbursed projects to effective projects which had good disbursement progress and lacked in capital, to ensure disbursement of all assigned capital. The Ministry of Planning and Investment was assigned to review growth scenarios in the second quarter of 2021 and the remaining quarters in order to design appropriate solutions to ensure economic growth in 2021 as planned.
- The Ministry of Finance shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with ministries, agencies and localities in intensifying measures to tighten state budgetary and financial disciplines; minimize recurrent expenditure; fight against negative and wasteful behaviors in state budget collection and spending, and resolutely handle violations; promote budget collection in all provinces and cities, especially from sustainable and stable revenue sources; develop a project on renewing the decentralization mechanism of the management and allocation of the State budget to ensure the leading role of the central budget and the proactive role of the local budget, inter-agency agencies and units, particularly the mechanism and policy to raise revenue sources, and report these to the Government before May 25, 2021. The Ministry of Finance was requested to closely monitor price movements, especially the increase in prices of production inputs, fuel, and raw materials in the past time, to promptly propose measures ensuring inflation control; expeditiously review and prepare report on revision of the Law on Value Added Tax and the Law on Special Consumption Tax, then submit to the Government to report to the National Assembly for inclusion of these laws in the Legislature’s working agenda in 2021; research, review and improve accounting and auditing standards in accordance with international norms and practices, as well as the practical context of Viet Nam.
- The State Bank of Viet Nam shall continue to proactively and flexibly operate monetary policy to stabilize exchange rates and monetary markets, ensure liquidity for the economy, and contribute to macroeconomic stability and promoting economic growth, in particular. The State Bank of Viet Nam was assigned to direct commercial banks to actively implement timely support solutions for people and businesses affected by COVID-19.
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and agencies and localities in, promoting the consumption of agricultural products, especially those in peak harvest season. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was requested to urgently complete the dossier and report to the Government before May 15, 2021 to submit to the National Assembly for consideration and decision-making on investment policy of the National Target Program on New Rural Development in the 2021-2025 period, ensuring quality and progress meet requirements of the Law on Public Investment.
- The Ministry of Industry and Trade shall focus on directing solutions to promote the development of industrial production and trade, striving to exceed the set plan; speed up the implementation of major and key projects, especially energy projects in order to ensure energy security; operate the national power system to ensure its efficiency, safety, publicity, and transparency, as well as to harmonize the interests between the State, enterprises and the people; quickly build and complete the 8th Electricity Planning Scheme and report to the Prime Minister before June 15, 2021; advise and organize the effective implementation of Free Trade Agreements, especially the Viet Nam - EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP); and complete the procedures for the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement.
- The Ministry of Transport shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with concerned agencies and localities in speeding up the implementation of key projects, including the Long Thanh International Airport, Passenger Terminal T3 of the Tan Son Nhat Airport, the eastern sections of the North-South expressway in the 2017-2020 period, the My Thuan - Can Tho Expressway...; to urgently study and propose the construction of priority projects of the Eastern North-South expressway in the 2021-2025 period, Can Tho - Ca Mau, Can Tho - Chau Doc, South Central Coast to the Central Highlands, and the Northwest region. The Ministry was requested to coordinate with relevant localities to deploy component projects of Ring Roads No. 3 and 4 of Ho Chi Minh City, Ring Roads No. 4 and 5 of Ha Noi Capital Region with state capital and other lawful sources of fund, especially in the form of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP); resolutely fight corruption, negativity and wastefulness in traffic projects; accelerate the completion of network planning for roads, inland waterways, seaport systems, railway networks, airport systems, and national airports in the 2021-2030 period with a vision to 2050, and ensure their cohesion and efficiency. The Ministry of Transport was assigned to step up the decentralization in implementation and management of transport projects to competent cities and provinces.
- The Ministry of Education and Training shall assume the prime responsibility for preparing and properly organizing the high school graduation examinations and admissions in universities and vocational schools in 2021; reviewing the 2020-2021 school year for all levels and preparing for the new school year, ensuring safety and alignment with COVID-19 situation; coordinating with the Ministry of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and localities to prepare summer activities for pupils and students while adopting pandemic prevention and control measures.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs shall assume the prime responsibility for, and ministries and agencies to focus on reviewing, evaluating, and reporting to competent authorities as soon as possible to consider the addition, completion and adjustment of the Government’s structure, functions, tasks and powers of ministries and agencies to align with the requirements of the new situation, especially to reduce hierarchies of ministries and branches.
- The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs shall focus on elaborating and submitting to promulgate Resolutions on inclusive, multidimensional and sustainable poverty reduction by 2030, for a Viet Nam no longer falling back into poverty; expeditiously complete the dossiers and report to the Government before May 15, 2021 to submit to the National Assembly for consideration and decision-making on the investment policy of the National Target Program for Sustainable Poverty Reduction and Social Security in the 2021- 2025 period, ensuring their quality and progress according to the Law on Public Investment.
- The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism shall promptly submit to the Prime Minister for promulgation the Viet Nam’s Cultural Strategy for the 2021-2026 period; update the pandemic situation and the possibility to host the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) and the 11th ASEAN Para Games (ASEAN Para Games 11), report to the Prime Minister for consideration and direction.
- The Ministry of Science and Technology shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and concerned agencies and localities in taking measures to effectively support the trademark registration and protection of Vietnamese goods in foreign countries, especially for goods in Viet Nam’s potential markets. The Ministry of Science and Technology was assigned to promote the development of digitalized Vietnamese Knowledge System and effectively operate information portals on science and technology, focusing on supporting COVID-19 prevention and control.
- The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shall focus on improving the capacity and quality of forecasting and warning of extreme and dangerous weather and hydrological phenomena in order to prevent and mitigate impacts of natural disasters; on studying, reviewing and urgently removing problems in the implementation of policies and regulations on land and environment; resolutely handling environmental violations; strictly controlling waste sources; and quickly submitting dossiers to promulgate a Decree on preliminary environmental impact assessment.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall effectively deploy high-level diplomatic activities; promote the implementation of the results of the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Indonesia; strengthen Viet Nam’s active role in ASEAN cooperation; continue to fulfil Viet Nam’s role as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council; promote online communication with leaders of other countries in the complex situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Ministries, branches, Governmental bodies and localities shall, based on the actual situation, resolutions of the Party and the Government, the Prime Minister's direction, their assigned functions, tasks and powers, proactively advise and propose removal of unnecessary institutions, mechanisms and policies; strengthen decentralization, assignment of powers, monitoring, inspection, organization of the effective implementation of socio-economic tasks, and overcoming the limitations, weaknesses, pending work which had been suspended for many years.
- Local authorities shall actively utilize contingencies, reserves, and other resources to address arising urgent tasks; continue to promote the connection between supply and demand of the labor market and support workers to find jobs; promptly remove difficulties and problems in production and business activities; firmly ensure national defense, security, social order, and safety in the locality; and strive to achieve the highest level of socio-economic targets assigned in 2021.
3. Preparations for elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels for the term 2021-2026
- Ministries, agencies and localities shall continue to seriously, synchronously and effectively implement the tasks and solutions in Directive No. 02/CT-TTg dated January 14, 2021 and the Official Telegraph of the Prime Minister, ensuring the successful organization of elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels for the term 2021-2026, promoting democracy, objectivity, and assurance of citizens’ rights; to prepare adequate facilities and promptly allocate funds and other necessary support for elections, especially in remote and ethnic minority areas. It was requested to develop detailed plans and scenarios to ensure that elections shall be organized in alignment with the actual conditions of each locality and the COVID-19 developments, especially for isolated people and regions due to the pandemic. Utter security and safety must be maintained before, during, and after the elections, including requirements on COVID-19 prevention and control under the guidance of the Ministry of Health. Due attention must be paid to solving complicated complaints and denunciations involving large numbers of people and related to human resources at all levels. Democracy, openness, and transparency must be ensured in organizing electoral campaigns, and in accordance with COVID-19 prevention and control requirements, so as to select persons with suitable capacity, qualities, reputation, and deserving to be the representative of the people.
- The Ministry of Public Security shall assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with agencies and localities in effectively implementing plans to ensure social security, order, and safety on the occasion of the elections; not to allow the sudden occurrence of "hot spots" and complicated situations.
- The Ministry of Information and Communications shall direct media and press agencies to increase information and communication about the elections; fight against and refute false and distorted views of hostile forces, especially those on the Internet.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs was assigned to closely coordinate with the Office of the National Election Council and relevant agencies to monitor and update election progress to promptly synthesize and report to the Government and the Prime Minister.
4. Regarding the Draft Government's Action Plan to implement the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress
The Government's Action Plan aims to concretize steps to bring the Resolution of the XIII Congress of the Party to life. In principle, the Government agreed with the draft Action Plan to implement the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress prepared by the Ministry of Planning and Investment. It was assigned to assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with concerned agencies in collecting comments of the Government members at the meeting to finalize and submit to the Prime Minister for signing for promulgation before May 10, 2021.
5. Regarding the Assessment Report on the implementation of the National Assembly's Resolution No. 142/2016/QH13 dated April 12, 2016 on the Five-Year Socio-Economic Development Plan in 2016-2020 and the proposed Five-Year Socio-Economic Development Plan in 2021-2025
In principle, the Government agreed with the Assessment Report on the implementation of the National Assembly's Resolution No. 142/2016/QH13 on the Five-Year Socio-Economic Development Plan in 2016-2020 and the proposed Five-Year Socio-Economic Development Plan in 2021-2025. The Ministry of Planning and Investment was assigned to assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with concerned agencies in collecting comments of Government members at the meeting to finalize the Report and submit to relevant agencies of the Party and the National Assembly. Accordingly, the Ministry was requested to collect comments, explain, finalize, and report to the Government Committee, the Prime Minister for consideration and decision-making before May 20, 2021, then submitting it to the Politburo. The Minister of Planning and Investment was authorized by the Prime Minister to act on behalf of the Government to report to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly and the National Assembly according to regulations, ensuring submission progress and quality.
6. Regarding the revision of Law on Emulation and Commendation
- In principle, the Government agreed with amendment contents to the Law on Emulation and Commendation, which was developed to continue improving the system of emulation titles and commendation forms as well as promoting decentralization and reforming administrative procedures on emulation and commendation.
- On the issues raising different opinions in the draft Law, the Government discussed and agreed: (1) Not to include the forms of "Medal for the community" and "Emulation Flags, Certificates of Merit at the General Department and equivalent level, Viet Nam National University Hanoi, National University Ho Chi Minh City, State-owned economic Groups and Corporations established under decisions of the Prime Minister”; (2) Accept the titles of "Typical Commune", "Typical Ward and Town"; "Typical Village, Hamlet, Residential Area"; "Typical Family"; (3) Add the form of "Glorious Youth Volunteer Medal" to reward youth volunteers who have completed the tasks during the war, national construction and defense periods according to direction of the Party Secretariat; (4) The Government shall detail specific cases of emulation and commendation in the People's Army of Viet Nam.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs was assigned to assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Justice, the Government Office, and relevant agencies in collecting comments of the Government members, revising the draft Law. The Minister of Home Affairs was authorized by the Prime Minister to act on behalf of the Government to sign the Proposal to the National Assembly on the draft Law as prescribed.
7. Regarding the proposal to revise Law on Protection of Consumers' Rights
In principle, the Government agreed with the need to amend the Law on Protection of Consumer’s Rights. The Ministry of Industry and Trade was assigned to assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Ministry of Justice, the Government Office, and relevant agencies in collecting comments of the Government members and appraisal opinions of the Ministry of Justice, to revise policies in the Proposal to formulate the Law, ensuring its specificity, clarity, and feasibility; complete the application for law-making in accordance with the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents. The Minister of Justice was authorized by the Prime Minister to act on behalf of the Government to sign the Proposal to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly to include this law project in the 2022 law- and ordinance-making program.
8. Organization of implementation
- The Government required ministries, agencies, and localities to focus on immediately grasping and urgently implementing this Resolution seriously and effectively according to their assigned functions and tasks; regularly inspect and evaluate the implementation progress and results; promptly report and propose to the Government and the Prime Minister new arising issues beyond their authority.
- Emphasize and strengthen communication work to prevent crisis of communication. Stay attentive to, respect, and absorb feedbacks that are correct, constructive, and full of accountability of the media and press agencies, ect in order to create high level of consensus and unity in the implementation of the Party's guidelines, the State's policies and regulations.
- The Government Office shall monitor and speed up the implementation of the Resolution, synthesize and report to the Government and the Prime Minister on the implementation results of this Resolution./.
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