International Conference: “The Orientation of State Budget Law Amendment – International Experience”

Sep 23, 2013

Ha Noi - Sharing budget reform lessons and orientations for amendments to the State Budget Law was today the objective of an international conference held in Ninh Binh province during 23-24 September, 2013. The Conference,  “Orientation of State Budget Law Amendment – International Experience”, was organized by the National Assembly’s Committee for Financial – Budgetary Affairs and the Ministry of Finance, with technical support from the United Nations in Viet Nam.

The State Budget Law (SBL) was approved by the National Assembly in 2002 and came into effect in 2004, stipulating the formulation, execution, final account and monitoring state budget as well as responsibilities and power of State agencies at all levels in the state budget sector.

Phung Quoc Hien, Central Party Committee Member and Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Financial and Budgetary Affairs, said the State Budget Law had played a pivotal role in bringing positive changes in State Budget revenue and expenditure activities since it came into effect nine years ago.

However, Hien said: “Given Viet Nam’s market-oriented economic outlook and reform requirements for integration and development, the State Budget Law has shown some shortcomings. As a result, the State Budget system is blighted by disproportionate power structures, complicated budget processes, an undefined budget revenue and expenditure scope, inappropriate decentralization of revenue and expenditure budget levels, the failure of state budget estimates to be linked to outcomes and opaque State Budget management standards inconsistent with international practices.”

“These issues demand that amendments are made to the State Budget Law. Moreover, proposed amendments to the Constitution also pose requirements for revising the State Budget Law to assure consistency and compliance with financial and budget management principles stipulated in the Constitution,” said Hien, who is also co-chair of the Conference.

The Conference is a platform for State management bodies like the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Investment and the State Audit to review the execution of the State Budget Law to identify shortcomings and potential amendments.

At the Conference, experts from international financial organizations and developed countries will share budget reform lessons from other countries and participants will discuss advantages and challenges of various models and mechanisms that other countries use in this regard encompassing specific budget interventions, particularly access to education and healthcare, specific taxation instruments to help reduce disparities transparent formulas for fiscal transfers to sub-national governments along with guidelines and tools for the monitoring of the allocation of State Budget funds within provinces.

Pratibha Mehta, the UN’s Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam and co-chair of the Conference, said The budget is the most important tool to achieve national socio-economic objectives - including ensuring equity and inclusiveness.  

“The voice of women, youth, disabled, people living with HIV, ethnic minorities and people living in remote areas should be heard by decision-makers when important decisions on how to spend the country’s financial resources are made,” said Mehta.

According to the National Assembly’s Committee for Financial – Budgetary Affairs, the State Budget Law would undergo a thorough amendment process to make it more appropriate to Viet Nam today and harmonize it with international practices and standards. The National Assembly and Government of Viet Nam have made efforts to conduct consultations with various agencies, institutions and experts in the related fields to collect relevant inputs that will be reviewed and utilized during the amendment process of the State Budget Law.

The Conference is within the framework of the “Strengthening the Capacity of Budgetary Oversight for People’s Elected Bodies in Viet Nam” project executed by the Committee for Financial – Budgetary Affairs, with technical assistance from United Nations Development Program (UNDP) during 2013-2015.

More information?
Read the UN presentation on equity and the budget
Read the UN Resident Coordinator’s speech.

For further information, contact:

Ms. Nguyen Viet Lan
United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
25-29 Phan Boi Chau
Ha Noi, Viet Nam
Tel: (84 4) 8224383 (ext: 121)

The Project Office
The Project “Strengthening the Capacity of Budgetary Oversight for People’s Elected Bodies in Viet Nam”
8 Chu Van An
Tel: (84) 08048669

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