Helping businesses access bank loans and deal with bad debts and large inventories were the major topics of the meeting which took place in Hanoi from July 2-3.
Despite the difficult circumstances, the socio-economic situation saw some drastic changes in the first half of this year as inflation controls paid off, the macroeconomy remained relatively stable and 4.38 percent economic growth was maintained, thanks to some economic restructuring.
Export turnover in the reviewed period was 22 percent higher than in the same period last year. Outstanding credit and industrial production showed signs of recovery and agricultural production saw a higher increase than last year.
Cabinet members proposed measures to iron out snags in economic policies aimed at maintaining 5.2-5.7 percent economic growth this year while stabilizing the macroeconomy and keeping inflation under control.
The consumer price index (CPI) in June rose by 2.52 percent compared to December last year and by 6.9 percent over June 2011. This is expected to serve as a foundation for keeping inflation this year at 7-8 percent, boosting economic growth and ensuring monetary policies to reduce the costs of bank loans in the remaining months of 2012.
Apart from the satisfactory results recorded in the first six months, cabinet members pointed out difficulties and challenges in the socio-economic situation due to slower economic growth than during the same period last year and the ongoing difficulties businesses face gaining access to bank loans because of the continuing high lending interest rates.
Regarding key tasks for the second half of the year, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to manage the monetary policy flexibly and efficiently in order to lower lending interest rates, stabilize exchange rates and deal with bad debts.
PM Dung asked relevant ministries and sectors to support production and speed up the disbursement of capital allocated for agriculture, rural development, exports, support industries, small and medium sized enterprises, and labour intensive businesses. He also stressed the need to practice thrift, reduce production costs and prices, improve product competitiveness, promote trade and expand both domestic and foreign markets.
He said it is imperative to strictly control imports, tighten market controls and duly punish smugglers and speculators to avoid panic over sham prices.
The PM asked the Ministry of Finance to keep State budget overspending in line with the target adopted by the National Assembly and implement financial and monetary policies properly and effectively to boost production and business, stabilize the macroeconomy and rein in inflation.
He also underlined the need to accelerate ODA-funded projects, attract more foreign investment in high-tech projects and restructure State owned enterprises.
PM Dung demanded ministries, sectors and localities speed up the disbursement of investment capital, especially that from the State budget, Government bonds and target national programmes, to stimulate domestic demand.
More attention should be paid to ensuring social welfare, generating jobs, increasing worker incomes, resolving complaints and denunciations and preventing natural disasters and epidemics.
At the meeting, cabinet members also discussed a roadmap for reducing corporate income tax and value added tax, as well as a draft national strategy for environmental protection until 2020, with a vision for 2030, and reports regarding draft laws on anti-terrorism and preventing and mitigating natural disasters.