Thai Binh Rolls New Wave of Improving Business Environment
Thai Binh province recently announced the opening of two around-the-clock telephone hotlines, 036.3.73.13.13 and 036.3.73.23.23, to which organisations and individuals can send or receive information from the incumbent chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee. The Provincial People’s Committee has recently issued Decision No.1316/QĐ-UBND dated May 27, 2016 approving a scheme on administrative reform, business environment improvement and competitiveness enhancement in the 2016 – 2020 period and beyond. These developments show that Thai Binh province is determined to initiate a new wave of business environment improvement. The Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Nguyen Hong Dien, Chairman of Thai Binh Provincial People’s Committee, on this issue. Ngo Khuyen reports.
By issuing many policies and measures and taking concrete actions in recent times, Thai Binh province is seen to be starting a new wave of administrative reform and business environment improvement. Could you please tell us about this?
In recent years, the Government has made great efforts to direct and administer improvements to the local business environment and competitiveness. Along with the perfection of institutions and policies and the acceleration of the Overall National Programme for Administrative Reform in 2011-2020, the Government also promulgated and implemented three versions of Resolution 19/NQ-CP on key tasks and measures to improve the business environment and enhance national competitiveness, and most recently the Resolution 35/NQ-CP dated May 16, 2016 on business support and development to 2020. Thus, the awareness of officials and civil servants to serve people and businesses is gradually changing; administrative procedure reform has progressed positively, and national competitiveness has been increasingly improved. In the 2016-2020 term, the Government has committed to building a clean government and an example of words and actions for the society, strengthening discipline, and changing administration to the service of businesses and citizens.
In this general context, Thai Binh province has constantly implemented measures and activities to accelerate administrative reforms in all 3 levels of government, in which the focus are publicity and transparency; simplifying administrative procedures, simplifying component records in the process and raising their public duties, the effectiveness of cadres and civil servants; thereby improving the performance and operation of authorities to build a government that serves citizens and businesses. The establishment of public administration centres at provincial and district levels, the opening of telephone hotlines of the provincial government local and departments ; approving the project of administrative reform, improving the business environment, enhancing the competitiveness of Thai Binh period 2016 – 2020 and the following years are practical actions to realise the above determinations. In the course of operations, changes will be made to adapt to new circumstances and raise efficiency.
How do you assess the process of reforming public administration, enhancing competitiveness and improving business environment in the province in recent years?
Thai Binh province always defines that public administration reform is a key element to better the business and investment environment to draw more resources for socioeconomic development. Hence, the province is very determined to carry out many directions and measures to accelerate public administration reform process. The province issued Plan 30/KH-UBND dated May 4, 2012 on administrative reform in Thai Binh province in the 2012 – 2015 phase with 42 schemes in six fields, deployed according to its contents, tasks and solutions.
After three years of deployment, legal documents in these fields are updated for perfection based on central regulations and local realities. Authorities at all levels positively reviewed and reduced by 40 per cent the time required for settling administrative procedures, particularly in investment. The quality of civil servants was raised to fulfil their tasks. The Provincial People’s Committee promulgated and implemented one-stop single-window mechanism in the investment field and modern one-stop single-window mechanism at the district level. Notably, the province established administrative centres at provincial and district levels where 100 per cent of grade-two administrative procedures are solved. These centres are granted more power to operate effectively. The province has also invested to upgrade working facilities and equipment and accelerate information technology application to catch up with operation and administration reform requirements. In addition to operating the electronic office network which interconnects from provincial to grassroots levels, Thai Binh province has also completed the upgrade of its electronic portal, which allows the online settlement of grade-three public services, thus contributing to administration modernisation.
In the past years, Thai Binh province has drastically and consistently launched the Action Programme and established Provincial Steering Committee for the cause of improving the business environment and competitiveness. In addition to building mechanisms and policies on investment attraction, investment incentive and business support; improving transport infrastructure; building technical infrastructure in industrial zones and actively calling for investors, the province also organizes regular meetings and dialogues with enterprises in a bid to learn about their difficulties and introduce appropriate actions. Thus, the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) of Thai Binh province keeps rising in scores and rankings.
The Provincial Party Committee adopted the scheme for reforming public administration, improving business environment and enhancing competitiveness of Thai Binh province in 2016 – 2020 period and beyond. Would you tell us the specific objectives of the scheme?
Thai Binh province set overall goals of public administration reform and provincial competitiveness improvement as follows: Carrying out overall and comprehensive public administration reform across all sectors to increase the satisfaction of citizens and businesses with services provided by State agencies; improving administration efficiency, policy enforcement and provision of public services in order to raise the scores and rankings of the Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI); bettering the local business and investment environment and enhancing competitiveness so as to raise the scores and rankings of provincial competitiveness index (PCI) to draw more investment flows for business development and socioeconomic development in 2016-2020 and beyond.
On that basis, the province also set out specific objectives: Developing and improving the quality of officials, civil servants and public employees; enhancing the simplicity, publicity and transparency of administrative procedures and reducing the required time for handling paperwork; and enhancing the operating quality of Provincial Public Administration Centre. In the 2016 – 2020 period, PAPI rose 0.5-1 points a year, thus raising the province’s index position by 1-2 places and targeting a Top 3 position by 2020. The province also endeavoured to have its PCI ranked among Top 20 positions in Vietnam by 2018 and among Top 15 positions across the country and Top 3 in the Red River Delta by 2020. In the 2016 – 2020 period, PCI scores are expected to augment from 0.8 points to 2 points annually, elevating the province’s rankings by 4 – 8 places. Regarding the business and investment climate, the province will target to achieve basic production and business indicators and exceed requirements set in Resolution 19/NQ-CP of the Government dated March 12, 2015.
To successfully carry out the above objectives, what tasks and solutions will the province focus on?
In the 2016 – 2020 period, Thai Binh province will focus on the following tasks:
First, focusing on reforming administrative procedures, reviewing and reducing administrative procedures; arranging and strengthening the streamlined and efficient organisation; modernising equipment, particularly accelerated information technology application to daily service; and improving the operating quality of provincial and district administrative centres. By June 2016, all administrative procedures will be carried out at provincial and district administrative centres. Provincial departments and branches will review and shorten by 30 per cent the time required to handle administrative procedures and at least 10 per cent of administrative procedures compared with regulations.
Second, improving, systematising and publicising sector development plans; planning construction; detailing industrial park development plans; planning land use for specific periods; speeding up site clearance and facilitating access to land.
Third, perfecting mechanisms and policies to create a favourable business and investment environment; reforming processes and documents concerning business and investment registration, land, construction and environment; developing human resources; maintaining political security, social order and safety, ensuring a stable environment for businesses.
Fourth, studying and proposing mechanisms to encourage and attract social investment capital, particularly for key infrastructure and socioeconomic development projects.
The province has also introduced many solutions, including administrative reform solutions with priority placed on administrative procedure reform and single-window mechanism for procedural settlement. It will reform administrative procedures in order to ensure legality, efficiency, transparency and equality in handling administrative tasks; and eliminate cumbersome, overlapping, corruptive procedures which may raise difficulty against people and businesses.
Besides, the province will introduce a group of solutions on improvement of competitiveness and business investment environment; focus on building coordinating mechanism for relevant agencies and units in the settlement of investment and business procedures; facilitate access to land; study, review and adjust socioeconomic development master plans of the province; reduce the time required for fulfilling enterprise and business registration documents; and prioritise traffic infrastructure construction.
Could you please talk about the major contents of the scheme on administrative reform, business environment improvement and competitiveness enhancement of Thai Binh province in the 2016 – 2020 period and beyond?
Speeding up public administration reform, enhancing competitiveness and improving business and investment environment is one of three breakthroughs in the province’s economic development in the 2016 – 2020 period. The scheme on administrative reform, business environment improvement and competitiveness enhancement of Thai Binh province in the 2016 – 2020 period and subsequent years is the realisation of the Resolution of the 19th Provincial Party Congress (2015- 2020 term).
Based on scheme tasks and solutions, the Provincial People’s Committee has required relevant departments, agencies, district/city people’s committees to build and deploy specific plans, assign people in charge, and periodically report results to the Provincial People’s Committee. Specifically, the Department of Planning and Investment has coordinated with the Department of Taxation to handle valid business registration papers within three days; collaborated with the Department of Justice to review and propose abolition of business condition satisfaction licences and certificates; assigned the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to complete and announce overall land-use planning to 2020 and detailed land-use plans at provincial, district and communal levels; and reviewed and proposed suitable mechanisms and policies to create land fund for businesses. Provincial departments, branches, agencies, district/city people’s committees will base on their assigned functions and tasks to gather, review and assess the provision of public services, have innovative solutions to diversify public services; and study, advise and propose services that private providers can engaged in on the basis of market mechanism.
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