Apart from controlling inflation and stabilizing the macro-economy, the government is determined to create more jobs, restructure the labor force, and improve people’s living conditions.
Last year, the government made great efforts to curb inflation, stabilize the macro-economy and ensure social security in the face of a world economic crisis. About 1.6 million people found jobs and millions of young people in rural areas attended vocational training courses. Primary school children were exempted from school fees and children under six had their health insurance subsidized by the government. The government provided the unemployed with an allowance and cared for people who have rendered great services to the nation.
State funding for social welfare increased by 20 percent over the previous year. But the global financial crisis and economic downturn continued to affect social security and sustainable development. The government’s measures to tighten monetary policy and reduce inflation at the same time also helped slow down the growth rate.
Nguyen Lan Huong, General Director of the Institute for Science and Labor, said the economic slowdown, in part, affected employment and rural restructuring. But to a certain extend, the closure or the scaling down of many enterprises would prompt the creation of new jobs to reduce unemployment.
In regard to the poverty reduction policy, which is the core of social security, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs has encouraged all enterprises and social organizations to give a helping hand to the poor in the form of mutual assistance within the community. The Ministry will work closely with the General Department of Vocational Training to train people in rural areas. Most importantly, it is set to complete a decade-long framework policy on social security until 2020, amend and supplement the Labor Code, and draft a Law on Employment and Minimum Wages. The purpose is to come up with social security policies appropriate to each target group of people in order to ensure that everyone has food, accommodation, and healthcare services, and every child goes to school.
Ms Huong added that under the draft strategy on social security until 2020, the government has emphasized the need to improve services. One important task is to modernize the payment system so that services can reach beneficiaries rapidly and transparently. There are many options including paying through the post office and getting communal cadres involved in the supervision work to ensure the transparency and efficiency of the payment process.
The National Assembly is scheduled to adopt the Law on Prices, which aims to control the market and prices of essential goods. Minister of Finance Vuong Dinh Hue said, special attention will be paid to controlling the prices of electricity, coal, and petrol and the country will tighten the auditing of related establishments including the Electricity and Oil and Gas companies to make sure the process is transparent and efficient.
Vietnam has been pursuing a policy of developing the economy while ensuring social security and equality for sustainable development. It is believed that a sound social security system will strengthen people’s trust in the Party, State and Government.