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Public workers stymieing administrative reform: businesses   2009-01-01 - ThanhNien

 
 
   
Administrative reform has made little headway because of the unhelpful attitude of government employees, company executives said at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City Tuesday.

 

Speaking at the conference held to enable entrepreneurs to directly discuss tax and customs reforms with the Ministry of Finance, Deputy Minister Do Hoang Anh Tuan said reforms in these areas remain a concern despite some progress.

Many executives came with complaints. Nguyen Thi Nhu Phuong, chairwoman of the HCMC-based An Loc Joint Stock Company said her company could go bust because of unreasonable tax rules.

It has been asked to pay tax with retrospective effect from January 2008, she said. “The new regulation is only effective from November, but the city’s customs has asked us to pay tax from January.”

The amount in question – 3 percent tax on computer random access memory chips – is nearly VND1 billion (US$59,000).

She said she was baffled by the new tax. “We enjoyed zero percent import tax from 2005 to November 2008.”

Private garment exporter Khai Trinh complained about an additional 10 percent value-added tax (VAT) imposed on re-exported garment.

Nguyen Van Khai, the company’s director said: “We paid 10 percent VAT on all the garments we exported to the US. Why do we have to pay another 10 percent VAT of around VND100 million ($5,700)?”

Do Ha Nam, chairman of the Vietnam Association of Coffee and Cocoa (VICOFA), said the Hanoi tax department is still failing to refund VAT within 15 days as it is expected to.

“Tax officials unreasonably query every word of our VAT refund documents,” he said.

In response to the complaints, Tuan and deputy head of customs, Nguyen Van Can, said companies should send their documents to the General Department of Customs for solutions on a case-by-case basis.

Public administration reform would focus on better serving businesses in 2009, Tuan promised.

The government approved last year the establishment of a board of public administration reform to run Project 30, named after the government’s decision number 30 in 2007 to enhance administrative reform in 2007-2010.

The board’s task by 2010 is to submit a standardized public administration regime with suggestions to the government to eliminate unnecessary procedures, a board official said.

All administrative procedures would be posted on the national database network by the end of 2010, he said.



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