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Posts Tagged ‘drive’

Italy approves 24 billion euro austerity drive

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Russia to embark on new privatisation drive

In World on September 23, 2009 at 11:31 am

 Russia is to embark on a new programme of privatisation, two-and-a-half years after its last major sale of state assets, officials were quoted as saying on Wednesday.

After the chaotic asset sales of the 1990s under the Boris Yeltsin presidency created a class of super-rich oligarchs and a major public backlash, the government has lately preferred to increase its stakes in firms.

But the financial crisis has blown a major hole in the Russian budget, with the budget deficit predicted to be around 8.0 percent of GDP in 2009 and reduced only slightly to 6.9 percent in 2010.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told the Vedomosti financial daily that with the income from privatisation Russia could reduce its use of reserve funds and cut the volume of planned bond issues needed to make up the budget shortfall.

“In other words the sum (from privatisation) will go to reducing the deficit,” he added.

A specimen of a 10,000 ruble Russian privatization voucher from 1992

But Vedomosti quoted government sources as saying that a new privatisation drive would be aimed as much at improving the image of Russia, which is still criticized by the West for having excessive state control of the economy.

“It’s clear that for the most part we are not talking about additional budget income — now is not the best economic time for sales — but about image, to show the world the liberalism of the government,” a source said.

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, a key ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, told Bloomberg TV in an interview that “now is the time that we can return” to privatisation.

He said that the government had “good assets” to offer.

Russia’s last major asset sale was the May 2007 privatisation of 22.5 percent of its second largest bank, state-owned VTB, which raised eight billion dollars.

Russia in July 2006 sold 15 percent in state-owned oil giant Rosneft which raised 10.4 billion dollars for the state coffers.

Source: SGGP

Poor hospital facilities drive patients abroad

In Uncategorized on September 24, 2008 at 11:07 am

Dong Da Electronics Company now supplies high-tech medical equipment to hospitals and health centres in the country. — VNA/VNS Photo Ha Thai

HA NOI — While the competence of Vietnamese doctors is similar to that of regional countries, hospital equipment is considered to be far below par, sending Vietnamese abroad to spend hundreds millions of US dollars each year on treatment.

The issue was discussed at a recent conference held by the ministries of Health, Industry and Trade, Finance, and Science and Technology to discuss national policies on medical equipment.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said that the Prime Minister had approved a national policy on medical equipment for 2002-10 back in 1992. The policy stated that in 2005, the domestic medical equipment sector should meet 40 per cent of demand, and that by 2010, 60 per cent of demand.

This target had not been reached, as the majority of medical equipment was still imported, she said. Domestic factories only produced simple equipment such as beds, cabinets and scissors.

Tien said that a lack of capital was one of the major factors hindering the development of this sector. While the Government approved a project to localise production of medical equipment starting in January 2005, no priority policies for enterprises to borrow capital and hire land to expand their workshops were put in place.

Moreover, import taxes for accessories to serve manufacturing, assembly, repair and maintenance of medical equipment did not benefit from any priority policies.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang pointed to many other obstacles, such as domestic enterprises not yet applying standards required in bidding files.

Most customers preferred to buy foreign products, as domestic enterprises have only limited advertisement and market promotion activities, and their products are typically not aesthetically pleasing, according to Quang. Domestic enterprises also tend to offer limited or no guarantees, especially in isolated areas.

Quang noted that foreign suppliers were superior in all of these aspects.

Regarding proposals from enterprises under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said the ministry would co-ordinate with the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Industry and Trade to list medical equipment that domestic enterprises could produce, what equipment could be localised, and what equipment should be imported.

The ministry also said it would also issue standards following Viet Nam’s standards system. Such standards would help domestic enterprises ensure their products met hospital demands.

The ministry said it would upgrade and build more centres to certify the quality of medical equipment in Ha Noi, the central region and HCM City, aiming to build a national centre to certify medical equipment.

Tien said it would be hard to domestically produce 60 per cent of medical equipment by 2010. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Industry and Trade said they would organise conferences to help domestic manufacturers connect with hospitals.

The Ministry of Health said it would also ask the Government to exempt or reduce import taxes on equipment and accessories that domestic enterprises still cannot make.

Dr Truong Van Viet, director of the Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City, said medical equipment was an indicator of the health care competence of a hospital and a country.

He said that recently many hospitals were importing old equipment and backwards technology from foreign countries.

In Ha Noi, Phuong Mai Street is home to many shops that sell medical equipment. Many products being sold don’t label their origins.

Director of the Ha Noi Health Department, Le Anh Tuan, said that medical equipment that did not have labels in Vietnamese or their origins labelled should be disregarded.

“The trading of such products must be strictly supervised and handled. The city Health Department will inspect medical equipment sold in shops,” he said. —

Conference highlights administration reform in anti-corruption drive

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Hanoi – APEC member economies have regarded administration reform as one of crucial solutions to prevent and combat the menace of corruption.

The APEC member economies’ viewpoint was unanimously shared by representatives of international organisations at the on-going International Conference on Anti-Corruption and Administration Reform, which opened in Hanoi on June 25.

Deputy Chief of the Government Inspectorate of Vietnam Mai Quoc Binh said the administration reform will pave the way for transparency and openness to facilitate the fight against corruption.

Meanwhile, Vice Director of the Inspection Science Institute of Vietnam Dinh Van Minh affirmed the country considers the development of a modern, professional, transparent and open administration apparatus supported by a dedicated and honest staff as a safeguard to ensure the success of the anti- corruption drive.

For his part, Hong Hyun-sun, Standing Commissioner of the Republic of Korea’s Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission said, “Administration reforms and anti-corruption are likened to twin engines of national development in that a single engine cannot produce desired thrust.”

Sharing the view, Head Investigation of Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau Tin Yeow Cheng said his country has been striving for the efficiency of the State public administration with the focus on the implementation of an initiative “Public Service for the 21 st ”, regarding it as one of the four pillars in the fight against corruption.

Meanwhile, a UNDP advisor stressed that the fight against corruption is linked to the wider governance and public administration so that the elimination of corruption cannot be achieved in isolation from public administration reform and an expanded role of civil social organisations (in addition to media and the private sector) and the justice system.

Jairo Acuna-Alfaro, Advisor on Anti-Corruption and Public Administration Reform from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also said “the ultimate objective of public administration is to provide and deliver better quality public services to the citizens, especially to the poor.”

The ongoing International Conference on Anti-Corruption and Administration Reform brought together 80 delegates representing 21 APEC member economies, regional and international anti-corruption organisations, Vietnamese ministries and industries.