VCN- On the afternoon of September 27, 2016, the Ministry of Finance held a press conference on the Law on management and use of public assets (formerly known as the Law on management and use of State assets). Many representatives of press agencies sent questions to Mr. Tran Duc Thang, the Director of Public Asset Management Department, under the Ministry of Finance.
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The Investment Newspaper: In Chapter III of the draft Law, there are regulations handling public assets in State agencies to meet the requirements of innovation in the future. How does the draft Law define the management and use of State assets? The draft Law only allows State units to use public assets in a proper process. Is it possible?
Mr. Tran Duc Thang: The above regulations are applied in the case where State units are transformed into enterprises, but if enterprises are transformed into Joint Stock Companies, other processes will apply. This law also defines the transition of public assets.
The value of public assets shall be determined according to the normal price in the domestic market. For example, after a period of use, the value of a commodity on financial accounting is only 1 billion vnd but in fact, the price of this commodity in the domestic market may be 2,3,4 billion vnd, or even 10 billion vnd.
If assets in State agencies are used for lease in a certain time, it will still be considered to be public assets under the draft Law.
Of course, public assets must be used for proper functions and right purposes. The lease of public assets for other units to use is to maximize the benefits and profits in society.
The Customs Newspaper: What are the differences between the handling of violations in the management and use of public assets stipulated in the draft Law and the current Law?
Mr. Tran Duc Thang: Through reviewing the implementation of the Law on management and use of State assets in 2008, the Ministry of Finance has identified that several places and many units have not seriously implemented the provisions of the law. One of the reasons is the lack of strict punishment for violations.
Therefore, in the draft Law, we will add tighter regulations in the handling of violations related to the management and use of public assets.
Specifically, Those who commit violations in the management and use of public assets shall compensate for any actual damage. Then, depending on the seriousness of violations, offenders shall receive administrative sanctions or criminal penalties.
In addition, a new feature of the draft Law is that not only are individuals responsible for violations, but the leaders are liable for violations in their units.
We still continue to receive feedback to supplement the regulations in the draft Law and study to add more specific provisions in the guidelines for this Law.
The New Hanoi Newspaper: In the working session of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly so far, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Dinh Tien Dung stated that special car plate numbers or special phone numbers should also be considered to be the public property to gain profits. What do you think about the ideas?
Mr. Tran Duc Thang: I think that they are property rights.
The draft Law divides public assets into 5 groups. Then, we will specify what is included in each group.
According to the experience of many countries in the world, the authorities still conduct auctions for the special car plate numbers. Some individuals who want to have these number plates must bid at auction. However, the amount of auction shall not be paid to the State budget but for charity or social work.
Currently, in Vietnam, there are no regulations about this content. We will continue to study the above issue, but in my opinion, the amount of auction should be used for social work instead of being paid to the State budget.
The Vietnam Financial Times: Can you tell us what are new features in the exploitation of resources under the draft Law?
Mr. Tran Duc Thang: The draft Law not only has breakthrough provisions but it also aims to have strict management and more effective exploitation of resources from public assets.
In the draft Law, we added more legal contents which are scattered in Chapters and provisions. For example: The scope of exploitation are all kinds of public assets; the principle of exploitation is on the basis of the market mechanism; forms of exploitation are the rights to reproduction, grant or joint ventures, etc.
In addition, the draft Law also provides for the synthesis and analysis tools for public assets through the national databases to update and manage the current situation.
Currently, annual revenues from public assets are nearly 100,000 billion vnd under the scope of public assets stipulated the State Property Act, 2008.
If the new draft Law is passed and strictly implemented, it will create a positive impact.
The Vietnam Law Newspaper: According to the latest update, what is the total value of State assets?
Mr. Tran Duc Thang: According to the latest update, 4 groups of State assets have a total value of about 1,040,000 billion vnd, equivalent to about $US 50 billion; excluding infrastructure assets (39,962 items with a total original price of 1,831,000 billion vnd), public water supply facilities (more than 10,000 projects worth more than 20 trillion vnd).
Public assets are still in the process of being updated into the national database. In addition, the deployment of the national database of State assets is very good. Currently, we can use this database to manage these fluctuations and the current situation of public assets at all levels.
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By Hong Van/ Hoang Anh