Exemption, reduction, and extension of taxes, fees, and charges amounting to hundreds of trillions of VND

Minister Ho Duc Phoc affirmed a praiseworthy and properly evaluated situation, recognizing the brilliantly successful anti-pandemic work that is recognized by the world. The mobilization of great resources, demonstrating patriotism, solidarity, and self-sacrifice of the citizens, and demonstrating the correct and open foreign policy of the Party and State. In addition to state budget resources, the funding of enterprises, as well as supports from other countries and individuals are enormous.

Fiscal policy governed drastically, flexibly, and effectively during the pandemic
Minister Ho Duc Phoc: 17 days after the issuance of Resolution 43/2022/QH15 which took effect at the beginning of February 2022, Decree No. 15/2022/ND-CP was completed.

"The administration of the Government's fiscal policy, in particular, is very drastic, flexible, and effective. The Government is tenaciously fighting against the pandemic, but it has also effectively directed and created all favorable conditions for businesses and individuals to develop production and business," said the head of Finance.

According to the Minister, fiscal policy alone exempted, reduced, and extended taxes, fees, and charges totaling more than 132 trillion VND in 2021, with exemption and reduction amounting to 24 trillion VND and extension accounting for 108.4 trillion VND.

In 2022, we mobilized the largest resources and implemented the largest exemption, reduction, tax extension, fees, and charges, of 200.3 trillion VND, of which the exemption accounted for 89 trillion VND and the extension made up for 110.7 trillion VND.

In 2023, the Government continues to direct tax exemption and reduction. The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has submitted and is expected to exempt, reduce, and extend 195.4 trillion VND, of which 74.2 trillion VND is the exemption and reduction and 121 trillion VND is the extension.

Furthermore, according to the Minister, there is a financial support package under the socio-economic recovery and development program (total program package of 347 trillion VND) in 2022 and 2023, which was implemented to expand and reduce taxes and fees and took effect immediately in 2022.

Concerning the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines and the receipt of aid, Minister Ho Duc Phoc stated that the amount purchased from the state budget was more than 15 trillion VND, of which the expenditure fund was 7,672.2 trillion and the central budget spent 7,574.5 trillion VND.

Regarding the difficulties encountered in mobilizing and deploying resources for pandemic prevention and control, the Minister demonstrated that the MoF has fully recorded and absorbed all available resources to complete the current policy and resolve the issues.

In terms of the opinion of delegates, the State Audit Office of Vietnam requested the Fatherland Front Committee of the province to pay the whole amount of money to the Covid-19 Vaccine Fund with a percentage of 80% of the total amount mobilized for the prevention and control of the pandemic, according to the MoF, it is essential to pay money to businesses and individuals for the purchase of vaccines because the central budget and Vaccine Fund has spent money to buy and, so the purpose of buying vaccines must be returned, and other aid resources are left in the locality to prevent and control the pandemic. "Remaining balance, proposed to Prime Minister to invest in medical equipment modernization or use for pandemic prevention and control,” said the Minister.

Purchase of vaccines: The Ministry of Health develops an estimate, and the locality allocates budget

Minister Ho Duc Phoc emphasized that the MoF has no problems with the delegate's proposal regarding the difficulty of establishing the ownership rights of all the people for goods donated during the Covid-19 period. The Minister explained that, under the provisions of Decree No. 29/2018/ND-CP, all that is required to establish the ownership of all the people is a sponsorship contract and an invoice to record an increase in assets. At the time, the MoF has no control over prices, which are entirely provided by businesses. As a result, there is no need to appraise, determine prices, or hire price appraisals. It is only required when selling or disposing of property. Therefore, MoF is not in trouble.

Concerning the purchase of vaccines, the Minister stated that it is incorporated into the Target Program (TP) before 2020, but after 2020, the program will be funded by the state budget. According to the Prime Minister's decision, the Ministry of Health (MoH) proposed allocating funds from the state budget in 2021-2022 to implement the Health - Population Center's expenditures from 2016 to 2020 into recurrent expenditure tasks, including purchasing vaccines for Expanded Immunization Program, with a budget of 134 billion VND in 2021 and 178 billion VND in 2022.

For 2023, the Minister stated unequivocally that the regulations on the arrangement of the central budget to deploy the purchase of vaccines according to the old National TP cannot be implemented after the end of 2021. However, because the national TPs were issued in October 2021, the guiding circulars were issued in May 2022, while the 2022 estimate for the MoH to implement the Expanded Immunization Program was developed in September 2021, the MoF must apply the expanded vaccination budget allocation as in 2021 (the transition period has not been guided yet).

After the TP and guiding circulars were issued, the MoF reviewed and complied with the provisions of the State Budget Law on management decentralization. Accordingly, there is no state budget regulation to ensure funding for vaccine purchases in expanded immunization.

The MoF has asked the MoH to develop a 2023 estimate for tasks and contents implemented by the MoH under regulations and documents guiding localities to implement from local budget sources.

If necessary, the MoH shall arrange for the state budget to purchase drugs, vaccines, and other items for children under the age of five (in addition to those belonging to the three national TPs), and then submit it to competent authorities for consideration and decision to lay the groundwork for allocating state budget funding.

The MoF sent an official document to the People's Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities to guide the implementation of tasks under the Health-Population TP that were converted into recurrent expenditure tasks in the period 2016-2020. However, problems have arisen because localities are cautious about buying vaccines (due to the lack of guides from MoH on prices, types, and how to buy).

It is known that the MoF has set aside about 300 billion VND for this expenditure task to implement as soon as the authority permits and guides. This money will be allocated in 2023 for the Expanded Immunization Program, but the implementation mechanism is unclear.

In terms of funding for medical facilities, Resolution No. 43/2022/QH15 set aside 14 trillion VND out of a total of 176 trillion VND, only to be used for building, renovating, and upgrading medical examination and treatment facilities in necessary locations, strengthening pandemic prevention and control capacity. In the near future, attention should also be paid to this issue in the local and national budgets for projects to repair community health centers. The MoF itself is fully supportive, "stressed the Minister.

The Minister also further stated that the MoF continues to perfect policies for health workers, allowances for health workers, career incentives, and health insurance

Concerning Vaccine Fund, the Minister claimed that a total of 10,791.14 billion VND has been mobilized for the Vaccine Fund, of which 7,672.2 billion VND was spent. There is a current surplus of 3,118.94 billion VND. The fund received 693,476 individual contributions./.

The Government fiercely fights against the pandemic

"When the pandemic cannot be anticipated because it has never happened before, the Government fights it with all of its might. When the Prime Minister called me at 9 pm to inquire if the Vaccine Fund could be established, I confirmed that it could. At 10 p.m., we hold meetings, assigned tasks to the implementing units, created regulations for fund establishment, and delegated circular development to the Department of Finance and Administration. At eight o'clock the next morning, the proposal was ready on the Prime Minister's desk. There was nearly 11 trillion VND to actively purchase vaccines thanks to the establishment of the fund. This has been a huge success.

Similarly, when it comes to exporting aid, it is sometimes necessary to decide to export goods first and documents later to timely save people. To improve the policy mechanism, some night meetings were held until 2 a.m. Resolution 43/2022/QH15 of the National Assembly was issued on January 11, 2022, and 17 days later, the MoF submitted to the Government for the promulgation of Decree No. 15/2022/ND-CP on tax exemption and reduction under Resolution No. 43/2022/QH15, effective from February 1, 2022 " – The head of Finance sector shared about the Government's and ministries' and branches' fierce participation at the time of "fighting the pandemic like fighting against the enemy.”