Authorities of all levels of Vinh Long province have firmly supported enterprises and people affected by the COVID-19 epidemic in the past time; anticipated and prevented epidemic contagion and helped local businesses to deal with difficulties to boost production. Hence, the economy was restarted successfully to ensure the achievement of local socioeconomic development. Mr. Lu Quang Ngoi, Chairman of the Vinh Long Provincial People's Committee, shared about this issue. Cong Luan reports.
Could you please introduce outstanding socioeconomic achievements of Vinh Long province in the past term?
Carrying out the Resolution of the 10th Provincial Party Congress (2015-2020 term) amid complicated domestic and international economic and political developments, the Party, the government and people of Vinh Long province have resolutely united to boost the synergized force, tried their best to overcome difficulties and challenges, successfully implemented the Resolution and achieved important results to make transformational changes in all areas. This is a very important premise for Vinh Long development in the coming years.
Specifically, the economy continued to grow. The economic structure was shifted toward a desired pattern. By 2020, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector was estimated to account for 35.23% of the gross regional domestic product (GRDP), down 5.11% over 2015 and the industry, construction and service sector made up for 64.77%. The improving business environment and highly ranked Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) made Vinh Long an ideal destination for many large-scale projects. The estimated gross regional domestic product (GRDP) grew by an average of 4.9% a year in the 2016-2020 period, 2.6% lower than the target of the Resolution. Per capita GRDP was forecast at VND55.5 million in 2020, an increase of VND18 million over 2015. While completing the new countryside construction program two years ahead of schedule, Vinh Long also realized the goal of becoming a middle province in the Mekong Delta.
Beside economic development, social security, education, health, labor and environment were also attached much importance. The province effectively applied policies for people with meritorious service to the nation and vulnerable people, sustainably reduced poverty rate by 1% a year to 1.16% in 2020, or 3,423 households. The province also maintained and generated over 20,000 jobs every year, with more than 1,300 employees sent to work abroad. By 2020, 98.8% of urban households and 90% of rural households had access to clean water from the centralized water supply system, an increase of 30% over 2015. Security and defense were maintained.
Based on its achievements in the past time, how did Vinh Long province set development goals and directions for the 2020-2025 term? What breakthrough areas are to be focused on in the next five years?
In the 2020-2025 period, Vinh Long province will strive to mobilize all resources, effectively tap all potential strengths; and restructure the economy towards the “agriculture, industry - construction and trade - service” pattern. It will continue to reshuffle the industry and trade sector, modernize agricultural production, improve the quality of new rural construction and urban development; focus investment on synchronous socioeconomic infrastructure, well connected with the Mekong Delta region and southern provinces and cities.
Vinh Long province will uphold national defense and security, ensure social order and safety; restrain and gradually reduce crime and law violations; and actively deal with all unexpected situations. The province will renovate the Party's leadership methods, improve the leadership capacity and combat strength of Party organizations; strictly uphold virtues, attitude and responsibility of the public employees and Party members; and step up the fight against bureaucracy, corruption, wastefulness and negativity.
To achieve the above targets, the province will focus on implementing three breakthrough stages: (1), developing human resources for growth model innovation, meeting requirements of international integration and Industrial Revolution 4.0; developing high-quality human resources with good leadership skills and professional expertise; (2), investing in socioeconomic infrastructure, with focus placed on urban and traffic infrastructure for agricultural production and tourism development; and (3), attracting more investment projects in urban areas, trade, high-quality agriculture, processing industry and tourism services.
While the COVID-19 epidemic has had negative impacts on production and business activities and people's lives, what timely instructions has the Provincial People's Committee issued to quickly restart the economy and successfully achieve the dual goal of epidemic prevention and socioeconomic development?
The Provincial People’s Committee has focused on firmly directing all branches and levels of government to adhere to the dual task of “preventing COVID-19 epidemic and reviving business development, promoting economic growth. Accordingly, the province guided the enforcement of the Prime Minister’s Directive 11/CT-TTg dated March 4, 2020 and the Government’s Resolution 84/NQ-CP dated May 29, 2020 on urgent solutions to remove difficulties for production and business, ensure social security to cope with the COVID-19 epidemic.
All branches and levels of government have closely coordinated and grasped activities of enterprises, industries and fields to introduce prompt solutions to deal with difficulties and facilitate businesses to continue operations during the social distancing period and restore normal operations in the new epidemic context. In particular, the province has proactively supported businesses to transform operations, extend product shelf life and increase sales through e-commerce platforms; focused on settling documents and procedures concerning investment and immigration; quickly launched policies on credit support, tax exemption and reduction to help businesses maintain operations and overcome difficulties.
The Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs has actively worked with relevant units to review and evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic to support businesses. The department has intensified information about epidemic development and prevention and control measures so as to make people and enterprises feel safe and lead normal life and business activity.
The State Bank of Vietnam - Vinh Long Branch has guided local credit institutions to review and assess the degree of damages that borrowers were affected by COVID-19 to apply support solutions as per Circular 01/2020/TT-NHNN of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) dated March 13, 2020: Rearranging repayment terms; exempting and reducing interest rates; launching new credit packages with lower lending interest rates. From January 23, 2020 to date, the province disbursed about VND2,829 billion for 1,370 customers.
The Tax Department has reviewed and delayed tax payment terms for taxpayers fraught with difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic according to Decree 41/2020/ND-CP. As of September 30, the department decided to extend tax payment terms for 2,351 taxpayers with a total value of VND339.147 billion.
VSS Vinh Long has delayed payment of retirement and death funds for enterprises troubled by the COVID-19 epidemic. To date, the social security agency has confirmed delayed payment of retirement and survivorship funds for eight enterprises, 667 laid-off workers and 496 business households with the value of VND496 million.
Currently, although the COVID-19 epidemic has been basically controlled in Vietnam, it is still complicatedly developing in the world. The risk of an outbreak is high. Therefore, Vinh Long province focuses on forecasting epidemic developments to readily prevent, combat, and promote the development of production and business; carry out key socioeconomic development objectives and tasks.
The province has effectively implemented tasks and solutions to improve the business environment under the Government's Resolution 02/NQ-CP dated January 1, 2020 and other resolutions and schemes approved by the Government and the province. At the same time, Vinh Long has accelerated investment attraction and business development according to the province’s approved programs and plans.
Source: Vietnam Business Forum