HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) recently cut 675 business and investment procedures, equivalent to 55.5 per cent of total business conditions.

This historic decision was the first step of its reforms, said Deputy Minister Trần Quốc Khánh.

Minister Trần Tuấn Anh, on September 20 signed Decision No 3610a/QĐ-BCT to cut the large number of administrative procedures and to simplify many business conditions under the ministry’s management in the 2017-18 period.

Khánh told the online forum on its administrative reforms held in Hà Nội on Wednesday that such reforms would be regularly and continuously implemented in the ministry. State leaders and the business community have hailed the move as the most active and the strongest one among the country’s ministries.

“The reduction will focus on 16 industries, including important sectors such as petroleum, logistics, alcohol and tobacco,” he said.

Specifically, the ministry is considering cutting business conditions in petrol trading to ensure supply, while improving competitiveness for the sector.

Meanwhile, business conditions would also be removed in the electricity sector to attract other firms to invest into the market.

Khánh said that after the cutting of procedures, the ministry would focus on post-checkups. In addition, the removal of a large number of administrative procedures is also in accordance with the international commitments, of which Việt Nam is a member.

Localities should be given more power in administrative reforms, he said.

“The business community was surprised about the cutting. However, the ministry affirms that we will follow the set targets,” Khánh added.

Move to cut procedures applauded

Nguyễn Đình Cung, director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), applauded this move, as “unprecedented work” with huge reductions in the number of administrative procedures managed by the ministry. The performance is determined by the specific criteria.

However, Cung said people were worried about sub-licences after the cutting, and that some staff could deliberately cause more difficulties for enterprises because they could lose their benefits, which they used to gain from taking advantage of the procedures.

Khánh affirmed that when business conditions were abolished, no place would require additional sub-licences.

The deputy minister said by the end of this month, the revised documents of business conditions would be submitted to the Government for approval, thus contributing to improving the business environment.