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Posts Tagged ‘Cut’

Quota for sugar imports cut down

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:06 am

Quota for sugar imports cut down

QĐND – Saturday, January 08, 2011, 20:36 (GMT+7)

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has recently decided the quota for sugar imports in 2011 in Circular 45/2010/TT-BCT.

Under the circular, Vietnam will import 250,000 tons of sugar in aggregate in 2011, down 50,000 tons from 2010.

The circular states that domestic businesses will be allowed to import 150,000 tons of fine sugar and 100,000 tons of crude sugar as materials for domestic sugar processing in the year.

The quota will then be distributed to importers, including both businesses and traders.

According to estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the total 2010-2011 sugar production would reach 1 million tons and the market should need another 250,000 tons.

Alongside the sugar import quota, the Ministry of Trade and Industry also defined the quota for salt imports.

Accordingly, the permitted total salt imports in 2011 will be 100,000 tons, including salt for cooking and industrial purposes.

Source: Vneconomy

Translated by Thu Nguyen   

Source: QDND

Citing deficit, Gates moves to cut US defense budget

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:10 am

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Citing “dire” fiscal pressures, Defense Secretary Robert Gates proposed deeper cuts than planned in US military programs, scaling back ground forces for the first time since the 1990s.

Gates, in a compromise with the White House, said the 78 billion dollars in cuts and other measures would result in a slower pace of growth in defense budgets over the next five years, despite earlier plans to keep spending at a higher rate.

The proposed cuts will require reducing the size of the Army and the Marine Corps in 2015-16, with the Army reducing its force by 27,000 troops and the Marines by 15-20,000, he told a news conference.

The US Army and Marines have not faced reductions since the post-Cold War cuts in defense spending in the 1990s, and the size of the ground force — unlike the Air Force and Navy — has expanded since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

AFP file – A US soldier gets a hand to climb a wall during a patrol in Arghandab Valley, Afghanistan.

The decision reflected the shifting political climate in Washington, with the spotlight on the government’s deficit overshadowing a long-running focus on national security after 2001.

The Pentagon chief said he would have preferred to avoid such cuts, “but this country’s dire fiscal situation and the threat it poses to American influence and credibility around the world will only get worse unless the US government gets its finances in order.”

As a major portion of the US budget, “the Pentagon cannot presume to exempt itself from the scrutiny and pressure faced by the rest of our government” to scale back spending, he said.

Some Republican leaders in Congress promptly criticized the proposed budget as a threat to the military’s health, while some budget hawks have argued for much deeper cuts in defense spending.

Gates said the Pentagon needed to steer a middle course without dramatic cuts, but insisted the bureaucracy had to change the way it operated.

“This department simply cannot risk continuing down the same path — where our investment priorities, bureaucratic habits, and lax attitudes towards costs are increasingly divorced from the real threats of today, the growing perils of tomorrow, and the nation’s grim financial outlook,” he said.

Despite talk of fiscal constraints, the vast American defense budget still far exceeds other countries and comes as European allies face drastic cutbacks to core military programs.

Gates had hoped to avoid any cuts that directly affected the fighting force but said the reductions in the Army and Marine Corps will not come until 2015 — when Washington hopes Afghan forces will take over responsibility for their country’s security.

The Army is currently at 569,000 troops, after a temporary increase of an additional 22,000 troops, and the Marine Corps has about 202,000 personnel.

The proposed defense budget for fiscal year 2012 will reach 553 billion dollars, growing at a modest rate of three percent, he said. But future budgets will gradually be scaled back to zero real growth in 2015 and 2016, Gates said.

Gates, mindful of a growing push to rein in the country’s deficit and national debt, has for months signaled plans to find tens of billions in savings in the defense budget with the aim of preserving key military programs.

The department found 150 billion dollars in savings that were meant to be plowed back into the defense budget, but the White House demanded a cut of 78 billion in military spending over the next five years.

The Pentagon used savings in overhead costs of 54 billion dollars to meet the White House request, but Gates still had to find an additional 24 billion.

The additional savings were found by adjusting economic forecasts for budgets in coming years, streamlining plans for the F-35 fighter and cutting the Army and Marine Corps, he said.

Gates confirmed that the cuts included cancelling an amphibious landing craft favored by the US Marine Corps, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, which he said had been plagued by repeated delays and rising costs.

Apart from cancelling the amphibious craft, Gates also proposed changes in the costly F-35 fighter jet program, putting the troubled Marine version of the aircraft on a two-year “probation” to resolve persistent technical problems.

For more cost savings, Gates proposed streamlining the Defense Department’s “sprawling intelligence apparatus,” maintaining a freeze on hiring civilians for three years, eliminating more than 100 general and senior officer positions and scrapping nearly 400 internal reports.

Source: SGGP

Tax cut by up to 6 percent on 1,000 imports

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:10 am

Tax cut by up to 6 percent on 1,000 imports

QĐND – Thursday, January 06, 2011, 21:17 (GMT+7)

Nearly 1,000 goods items would enjoy an import tax cut of 1-6 percent in 2011, according to the Ministry of Finance’s Taxation Policy Department.

Director of the department Vu Van Truong said the items would mainly include agricultural produce, seafood, construction materials and electrical appliances.

The average drop for most items would be 2-3 percent, said Truong.

The cut, part of Vietnam’s commitment to the World Trade Organisation, was expected to benefit domestic consumers, giving them a wider choice of reasonably priced imported goods, Truong said.

However, he warned that the cut would also place pressure on Vietnamese goods that would face fierce competition from imported products.

Trade experts were also concerned about a predicted surge in the country’s trade deficit next year in the wake of the import tax cut.

The country imported 84 billion USD worth of goods last year, up 20 percent over the previous year with a trade deficit of 12.3 billion USD.

This year, the country plans on restricting the trade deficit to 14.18 billion USD with an import value of roughly 92 billion USD.

Last year, roughly 2,000 goods including food, animal feed, construction materials and steel also enjoyed an import tax cut of 1-6 percent, which cost the State budget roughly 1 trillion VND (51.28 million USD).

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Ministry agrees to cut import tax on gas

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 4:25 am

Ministry agrees to cut import tax on gas

QĐND – Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 21:8 (GMT+7)

The Ministry of Finance has cut import tax on gas from 5 percent to 2 percent to stabilise the domestic gas market.

The new tariff came into effect on Dec. 17 and gas retailers PV Gas, Petrolimex Gas, Sai Gon Petro Gas, Vinagas and Gia Dinh Gas immediately cut their retail price by 8,000 VND (0.38 USD) on 12kg canisters.

The move comes at the end of a year when the price of gas in Vietnam rose seven times so far this year. Before the cut, retail prices for canisters ranged from 330,000 VND (15.71 USD) to 360,000 VND (17.14 USD) depending on the brand.

The Vietnam Gas Association originally proposed the tax cut after rises in the world’s gas price led to similar increases on the domestic market.

Gas world prices have raised about 200 USD to roughly 1,000 USD per tonne this month.

The gas association’s chairman Nguyen Sy Thang said dependence on imports makes doing business difficult for gas traders. Without tax cuts, domestic gas prices will continue to rise.

The country currently imports roughly 60 percent of its total gas needs.

Thang also said that the import tax rate of 5 percent had been set by the Ministry of Finance when the world gas price was 200 USD per tonne but with prices now at 1,000 USD per tonne, the previous tax rate was too high.

Earlier this month, the country’s largest gas provider PV Gas offered discounts of 5,000 VND on 12kg canisters to stabilise the domestic gas market. The price cut was made possible by domestic supply from the Dung Quat Oil Refinery.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Euro falls as Irish credit rating cut

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2010 at 6:27 am

TOKYO, Dec 20, 2010 (AFP) – The euro fell against other currencies in Asia on Monday on worries over the eurozone’s public finances after Moody’s slashed debt-stricken Ireland’s credit rating, analysts said.

The euro fell to 1.3154 from 1.3185 dollars in New York late Friday and to 110.35 yen from 110.78 yen. The dollar firmed to 84.00 yen from 83.94 yen.

Moody’s Investors Service on Friday cut its credit rating on Ireland by five notches, citing uncertainties over the country’s economy and public finances.

It came a day after European leaders agreed at a Brussels summit to set up a permanent financial stability mechanism from 2013 to shore up the euro amid fears Portugal and Spain may need bailouts after Irish and Greek rescues.

But there was no decision to increase its size beyond the bloc’s temporary 750 billion euro fund or allow it to purchase government bonds, or introduce a common European bond, John Kyriakopoulos of National Australian Bank noted.

“As such, European sovereign debt concerns are likely to linger into the New Year,” he wrote in a note, adding investors needed to watch European bank funding costs.

The failure to enlarge the size of the bailout fund was disappointing “given worries that it is insufficient to cope with the bailout of larger eurozone countries if needed,” said Frances Cheung at Credit Agricole CIB.

The South Korean won fell after South Korea ordered civilians on five border islands to take shelter ahead of a live-fire exercise Monday despite North Korean threats of deadly retaliation.

The unit extended its early losses against the safe-haven US dollar, which in morning trade fetched 1,167.40 won from 1,163.40 earlier.

But the news hardly moved dollar-yen rates with the yen also drawing buying as a safe currency, analysts said.

Source: SGGP

Government seeks cut in workplace injuries

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Government seeks cut in workplace injuries

QĐND – Friday, December 17, 2010, 20:53 (GMT+7)

The Government has earmarked 730 billion VND (36.5 million USD) for a national program that seeks to reduce fatal workplace accidents by at least 5 percent a year.

The five-year program, to begin next year, targets sectors with a high incidence of workplace accidents, like mining, construction, electricity, and metal and chemical production.

It also seeks to diagnose and treat more workers with occupational diseases and ensure an additional 2,000 small and medium-sized enterprises adopt workplace safety regulations every year.

Safety training courses will be provided for 40,000 workers in sectors requiring strict adherence to safety regulations and a further 10,000 who work in toxic and dangerous environments.

The program will help train 40,000 safety officials and provide consultancy and technical assistance to improve working conditions and reduce accidents at small and medium-sized firms.

Workplace accidents have been an increasing concern in the country in recent times.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, there were 2,611 workplace accidents in the first six months.

Last year there were more than 6,000 accidents which killed 550 workers and seriously injured 1,221 others.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Landslides cut off parts of central VN

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

VNG asked to cut off violent content from its online game

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 7:50 am

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communications September 19 asked Vietnam’s top online game firm VNG to cut out violent content from its online game entitled Biet Doi Than Toc (Sudden Attack). 

An ad for Biet Doi Than Toc (Sudden Attack), a role-playing online game released by VNG Corporation

The department also asked VNG to stop creating valuable assets in its online games to sell to gamers, and selling game cards which gamers buy to credit money to their accounts to buy or rent assets in games.
The department ordered Internet service providers to take technical measures to block violent content in the Sudden Attack game, and report results to the department by September 30.
The city’s district people’s committees were ordered to ask Internet shops to stop offering the game with violent content, and administratively penalize them if they don’t.
Sudden Attack is the second online game after Special Force of FPT Online Company found to contain violence.

Source: SGGP

Campaign to cut plastic bags use

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Campaign to cut plastic bags use

QĐND – Wednesday, July 28, 2010, 21:22 (GMT+7)

A programme aiming to reduce the use of plastic bags has been launched by the Hanoi Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The plan will be deployed widely throughout the capital, which will include all 10 districts, 18 suburban districts and one town.

The programme, Sunday without Plastic Bags, will kick off next August 1 at Ho Tay Waterpark, Hanoi.

Leaders from the State, representatives from enterprises and foreign organisations, volunteers and the public will join in the campaign condoning the use of plastic bags.

Other activities will be organised including a walk around West Lake and a bicycle ride for the environment.

On the occasion, environmentally-friendly bags will be distributed for free at grocery stores, outdoor markets and department stores in the city. People can also receive the utility bags if they exchange their waste paper at the organising board’s outlets.

Students will volunteer to ride bicycles on August 1 during the month of August to announce the merits of protecting the environment, and they will encourage others to join the programme.

The municipal department will also cooperate with the Hanoi Youth Union to launch a movement to collect plastic rubbish that floats in the city’s lakes.

A workshop, Women Working to Protect the Environment will be held in the capital’s 10 inner districts and 18 outer districts. The meeting will aim to raise awareness about protecting environment and limiting the use of plastic bags.

Pham Van Khanh, vice director of the municipal department, estimated that thousands of Hanoians will join the event.

A pilot programme to limit the use of plastic bags had previously been successful at Hapro Mart.

Hanoians hope to protect the environment, develop the city’s green spaces, and beautify the capital before its 1,000th anniversary in October, he said.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Obama vows to cut HIV cases with new AIDS strategy

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama declared Tuesday that any new case of HIV/AIDS was one too many, as he rolled out a new national strategy to cut infections and improve care for those with the disease.

The White House displays a large red ribbon for World AIDS day in 2009. (AFP file)

Thirty years after the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) burst to global attention, the first-ever National HIV/AIDS Strategy will demand action from federal, state and tribal governments and medical and scientific communities.

It envisages cutting the annual number of new domestic infections by 25 percent over five years.

“The question is not whether we know what to do, but whether we will do it?” Obama said, as he officially unveiled the new strategy at a reception for HIV/AIDS activists at the White House.

“We are here because we believe that while HIV transmission rates in this country are not as high as they once were, every new case is one case too many.

“We are here because we believe in an America where those living with HIV/AIDS are not viewed with suspicion but treated with respect, where they are provided the medications and the healthcare they need.”

In a vision statement, Obama’s strategy says “the United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare.”

Those who are infected, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or economic level, will get “unfettered access to high-quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination.”

The HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States has claimed nearly 600,000 lives, although the disease has faded from the headlines in recent years, as new life-extending anti-retroviral drug therapies have emerged.

But around 56,000 people still become infected with HIV every year.

There are currently 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, according to US government figures.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the new strategy represented a turning point for US government policy.

“Either we could chose to get used to HIV and AIDS and accept that it was a permanent feature of US society … or we could chose to double down and refocus our efforts,” she said.

“We refuse to accept a stalemate — to dig in and just hold the disease at bay.”

The new Obama strategy has three goals: to reduce the number of new infections; to increase access to care for those with HIV; and to reduce HIV-related health disparities.

The new strategy recognizes the tight fiscal straitjacket under which the administration is operating, after the worst financial crisis in decades.

It states that better results should be possible to achieve within existing funding levels and says the case for additional investments where they are required should be highlighted.

The plan includes more than 100 specific directives to federal agencies to develop standards for prevention programs and other steps to meet the new goals.

The plan is designed to intensify HIV prevention efforts in most at risk communities, including gay and bisexual men, African-American men and women, the Latino community, addicts and drug users.

It also envisages improving the education of all Americans about HIV/AIDS and how to prevent the spread of the disease.

The administration also plans to use the new Obama health care reform plan passed this year as a platform for expanding treatment of HIV/AIDS for the most vulnerable communities.

During the event, in the ornate East Room of the White House, Obama was interrupted by one guest who shouted “Mr President!”

Obama closed down the man’s protest by saying he would chat to the man after his speech: “That’s why I invited you here, right? So you don’t have to yell.”

Obama’s plan drew mainly praise from groups fighting AIDS. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, called the new strategy “a lifesaving public health intervention.”

Jennifer Kates of the Kaiser Family Foundation said more efforts are needed to fight AIDS.

“People are just not as concerned about HIV,” Kates said. “There is a sense we have treatments, that HIV doesn’t seem as bad as it used to. … There is more complacency.”

Obama announced in October that his administration would end a ban on people with HIV/AIDS traveling to the United States, which rights groups had branded discriminatory and harmful.

The measure came into force in January.

The United States has also contributed tens of billions of dollars for HIV/AIDS relief around the world, with the President’s Plan for Emergency AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) — one of the most lauded legacy achievements of former president George W. Bush.

Source: SGGP