Environment protection spending stuck at 1% of total expenditure

Even though increased budgets have been allocated to environmental protection, Vietnam’s environmental protection has remained at just 1% of total annual expenditure.


Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment urged to review and revise
standards and technical requirements set for environmental protection

Since the environmental protection tax was implemented in 2012, revenue risen from VND11.3trn (USD518m) in 2012 to VND27trn in 2015. 

In four years, Vietnam earned VND61.8trn in tax.

The tax is aimed to encourage people to use environmentally-friendly products and collect revenue for other environmental protection methods. Most of the revenues were allocated to local budgets. 

The taxes on crude oil, natural gas and coal gas go to the state budget and the taxes on other mineral products go to local budgets.

Despite the increasing tax revenues and spending, spending has never surpassed the 1% of total expenditure threshold.

Annual spending increased by 24.8% in 2012 compared to previous year, 8% in 2013, 2.1% in 2014 and last year, the government spent VND11.3trn (USD518m), an increase of 14.2%, in which local authorities contributed VND9.7trn.

This year, VND12.3trn (USD558.63m) should be earmarked to environmental issues even though the goal is set to earn VND38trn from taxes.

The government is also employing foreign help. Foreign loans since 1993 to deal with waste treatment, sewer system upgrades, climate change mitigation and pollution in rural areas reached USD4.2bn. 

About USD152m has been committed environmental issues for the 2015-2016 period. In 2016, the government will disburse JPY10bn Japanese ODA loan for climate change issues.

However, the country faces a major issue with pollution. People in big cities such as Hanoi, Dong Nai and Ho Chi Minh have to deal with severe air pollution. 

Only 40 out of 786 urban areas in the country have quality waste treatment plants and only 10%-11% of waste water was treated before being discharged. 

The government lacks good policies and mechanism to attract private investment.

There are proposals that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment must take responsibility to review and revise standards and technical requirements set for environmental protection. 

Other ministries and agencies must also be assigned clearer responsibilities for better management and to avoid natural disasters.

Many people suggested tightening regulations and the responsibilities of individuals and enterprises in relation to environmental pollution.


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