NA kicks off Q&A session, focusing on social housing package

07/11/2023 02:28 PM

As the first Cabinet member to speak, Governor of the SBV Nguyễn Thị Hồng discussed several concerns including the VNĐ120 trillion (US$5.11 billion) social housing credit package, which experienced high demand but low disbursement.

Governor of the SBV Nguyễn Thị Hồng speaks during Q&A session on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo 

HÀ NỘI — The 15th National Assembly (NA) commenced its question-and-answer session on Monday, during the 6th session, where Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Nguyễn Thị Hồng and Minister of Finance Hồ Đức Phớc addressed inquiries regarding the areas of banking and finance.

As the first Cabinet member to speak, Governor of the SBV Nguyễn Thị Hồng discussed several concerns. These included the VNĐ120 trillion (US$5.11 billion) social housing credit package, which experienced low disbursement despite high demand for loans, the challenges of setting a credit limit to regulate the market, and issues associated with illicit lending practices.

Deputy Trần Thị Thanh Hương from An Giang Province raised concerns about the low disbursement rate for the VNĐ120 trillion social housing support package, and asked the SBV to clarify the obstacles and solutions to expedite the disbursement progress of the credit package for social housing development, as well as the upcoming non-cash payment methods.

In response, Governor Hồng explained that the implementation of the VNĐ120 trillion credit package aimed to reach the goal of achieving one million social housing units by 2030.

According to Hồng, after receiving the Government's resolution with specific tasks, the SBV issued guidelines and sent documents to the people's committees of provinces and cities to develop a list of projects eligible for loans under this package.

Regarding credit institutions, the SBV has requested the internal procedures for lending to projects in the social housing credit package. So far, 18 out of 63 cities and provinces have submitted lists of projects participating in the package, including 53 projects with a capital demand of around VNĐ27 trillion ($1.1 billion).

Social housing investors to access credit package - Vietnam Economic Times | VnEconomy

Illustrative image (internet)

The Governor also stated that the disbursement has only reached VNĐ105 billion ($4.3 million) in three localities.

Acknowledging the limitations in disbursement, Governor Hồng attributed this to the limited supply of housing units under the credit package, while the demand was very high.

In addition, people have to consider carefully conditions for accessing the loans before borrowing money to buy a house, while not all are able to satisfy the conditions, she said.

Deputy Nguyễn Anh Trí from Hà Nội stated that the involvement of the banking sector, the Ministry of Construction, local authorities, labour unions, and especially the labour force were essential to implement the package effectively.

"We need to understand the demand and requirements in terms of quantity, area, location and prices. Based on this, we can plan for implementation, construction and supply based on the needs and requirements of the labour force to achieve success," he said.

In strong agreement with Deputy Trí’s opinion, Governor Hồng stated that the programme would be carried out over ten years, so it would require substantial financial resources.

Hồng said the SBV would continue to instruct credit organisations to actively disburse the credit package and expand its participation to other joint-stock commercial banks.

Governor Hồng, who also served as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Social Policy Bank of Vietnam, said she would continue to coordinate with ministries, local authorities and labour unions to address challenges and obstacles, and achieve the goals set by the package.

In response to the questions about non-cash payments, Governor Hồng stated that the SBV has implemented several specific measures, such as reviewing the legal framework to facilitate non-cash payments. To date, many activities have been carried out through digital channels and technology applications, ensuring the safety of payment operations, such as customer verification and payments via QR codes.

Over the past nine months, non-cash payment indicators have shown significant growth. The proportion of non-cash payment transactions has increased by 49 per cent in terms of quantity, with internet transactions growing by 60.3 per cent, mobile phone transactions rising by 60.8 per cent, and QR code transactions increasing by 105 per cent.

The decrease in ATM transactions indicated a trend toward non-cash payments. In this September, the proportion of cash payments as a percentage of total payments decreased by 9.17 per cent compared to 11.73 per cent at the end of 2020.

However, she said, there was still a prevailing cautious attitude towards adopting new payment technologies due to habits of using cash and concerns about high-tech cybercrime trends.

In the near future, the SBV would continue to review regulations and collaborate with relevant authorities to enhance the legal framework and preventative measures to ensure data security and customer safety, along with increased information dissemination to provide the public with more information and ensure safety in non-cash payments.

In response to the questions about the low credit growth of 5.91 per cent in the first nine months of this year, the Governor said the main reason was primarily reduced credit demand as a result of a decrease in business orders, and difficulties faced by individuals and small businesses due to the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responding to questions about preventing usurious lending, Governor Hồng said over the past period, the Ministry of Public Security, along with various ministries and agencies have been vigorously implementing many solutions. The SBV has issued an action plan for implementation, continuing to improve the legal framework to make it easier for people to access credit through legitimate channels.

With the implementation of the National Population Database by the Ministry of Public Security, the SBV has cooperated and signed agreements with the Ministry of Public Security to encourage credit institutions to participate and connect to this database system in order to provide unsecured loans to small borrowers. This would enhance the ability to access credit while reducing usurious lending, she added.

Also during the session, Minister of Finance Hồ Đức Phớc responded to concerns about the responsibility for the delayed issuance of documents related to public asset management and the solutions to address this issue.

He emphasised that apart from the Law on Public Asset Management in 2017, the Government has issued guiding decrees, and the Ministry of Finance has issued 15 related circulars. He explained that managing public assets reflected the responsibility of those entrusted with public asset management to effectively utilise these assets.

The Ministry of Finance was proposing amendments to the Law on Public Asset Management to the NA and the NA Standing Committee to improve the legal system, he said.