Uncle Ho’s advice skillfully used in fight against Covid-19 pandemic

Never before has Vietnam faced such a sudden and tough epidemic like the Covid-19 pandemic. However, thanks to acting on Uncle Ho’s advice “Di bat bien, ung van bien” (target is immutable, measure is flexible), the Party, the State, and the whole community have been able turn the table around and guarantee public medical safety as well as maintaining the national growth rate.

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue

More than 70 years ago, in 1946, before going to France to find ways to save the peace in Vietnam, Uncle Ho advised State President Huynh Thuc Khang the principle of “Di bat bien, ung van bien” (target is immutable, measure is flexible) in the resistance war.

That wise advice is still applicable today by the Government and is considered a classic policy to address various tough issues of the country.

The first session of the 15th National Assembly was held while the Covid-19 pandemic was raging the Southern region of Vietnam. For the first time ever, the National Assembly has proposed urgent measures for Covid-19 prevention and control to be the legal basis and to increase the initiative for the Government as well as the local authorities when responding to unexpected situations.

The National Assembly allowed the Prime Minister, the Government with corresponding responsibility to adopt certain solutions that are neither regulated by law nor the same as those available in current laws and ordinances to serve Covid-19 prevention and control tasks. If needing to issue new regulations different from those in the laws in the time the National Assembly is not in session, the Government must report them to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly for consideration according to the shortened procedure before introducing them.

Thanks to that decision, many flexible and practical policies have been established to fight against the pandemic, to protect the public health, and to support difficult citizens and businesses, which ensures the constitutionality, legitimacy, timeliness, publicity and transparency.

The most noticeably among them is the financial support package worth over US$10 billion from the State budget for individuals and enterprises to resume their work. This package is even larger than the economic stimulus package to cope with the impacts of the global financial and economic crisis in 2008-2009.

Citizens hope that upgrades in traffic infrastructure via the North-South Expressway will help address congestions

In the extraordinary session of the National Assembly on January 4, 2022, some mechanisms and fiscal, financial policies were considered and approved to promptly support the unique program ‘Socio-economic Recovery and Development for the Period of 2022-2023’. This, in turn, is expected to tackle institutional problems in investment, trading, tax policies, traffic infrastructure (especially the National North-South Expressway with the total investment of VND147,000 billion or $6.5 billion).

The Prime Minister when discussing this special program informed that the Government will continue to upgrade the healthcare capacity, particularly preventative medicine and grassroots clinics, along with fund raising for pandemic prevention tasks, social security to take better care of citizens.

Besides, financial support packages will be designed to help small and medium-scaled enterprises, household businesses to resume their operations, to attract laborers back to work. The fiscal and monetary policies will be prepared to ensure economic recovery and inflation control.

The Minister of Finance in this extraordinary session also reported that the policies to extend, postpone, exempt, and reduce taxes, fees in 2021 will still be valid. Together with that is the stimulus package via interest support at the scale of VND20,000 billion ($881.5 million) per year. This means a supply of VND1 quadrillion ($44 billion) into the national economy.

The Social Policy Bank is assigned to deliver loan packages for social housing projects, unemployment rate reduction. The stimulus package for infrastructure investment is also a powerful solution to economic recovery.

The final yet most important measure is the ‘non-finance’ one: better mechanisms, policies, administrative procedures, public service quality, attitude of state officers.

With an economic scale of $343 billion in 2020, a budget deficit of 1 percent of GDP is a large sum of money already, leading to an increase in public debt. Therefore, the scale of upcoming stimulus packages for investment and consumption should be carefully calculated to get the best result while avoiding any potential harm or burden for the next generations.

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