[Marxism] Vietnam Punching at Corruption

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 3 21:17:41 MDT 2006

Vietnam Punching at Corruption

Hanoi, Apr 2 (Prensa Latina) Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai
has asked the ruling Communist Party to suspend his transport
minister amid a major corruption scandal, state television reported

According to the VTV report, Khai "wrote a letter to the poliburo
asking for the temporary suspension of Dao Dinh Binh," who is also a
member of the party´s central committee.

In all, there are 18 officials at the transport ministry involved in
the corruption in the now notorious Project Management Unit, known as
PMU18, for having embezzled state funds, most of them from Japan and
other foreign donors, and bet some of the money on top English and
Spanish league football matches.

Others allegedly skimmed money off public construction projects, took
kickbacks from lucrative state contracts and used official cars as
gifts for business contacts, media reports said.

"Binh is responsible for letting the PMU18 scam happen in his
ministry," the TV said.

What started months ago as a football betting scam has turned into a
political scandal two weeks before the communist party´s five-yearly
congress, which will see a reshuffle of the cabinet and party leading

The government has sought to crack down on official corruption before
the event.

Some officials had been arrested in January. Deputy transport
minister Nguyen Viet Tien was suspended Wednesday.


UN Praises Vietnam´s Economy

Hanoi, Apr (Prensa Latina) The UN Economic and Social Comission for
Asia- Pacific (UNESCAP) has praised Vietnam economic progress during
2005, although it warned about a possible growth reduction in 2006,
the local press reported on Sunday.

The international organization confirmed that Vietnam´s GDP increased
8.4 percent last year, highlighting that that the greatest success
rested on reducing poverty.

UNESCAP stressed the efforts by the authorities, with evident
positive results, in providing education, health, and water services
to the poorest population in rural areas.

The main economic booster was industrial production, which
experienced a 10.6-percent growth, mainly in the areas of
fertilizers, transportation vehicles, machinery, and coal mining.

Another indicator UNESCAP annual assessment highlighted was Vietnam´s
sucess in attracting some $3.0 billion in foreign direct investments
during 2005.


Vietnam Fighting AIDS

Hanoi, Apr 2 (Prensa Latina) The Vietnamese government has devoted
over $24 million to the struggle against AIDS in the 2001-2005
period, Finance Vice Minister Huynh Thi Nhan reported on Sunday.

The official said these resources, from the central and provincial
governments´ budgets, covered an extensive spectrum of aspects of the
fight against the disease.

The national action program against AIDS includes educational
campaigns, particularly with risk groups, medical treatment to those
infected, and periodical consultations for HIV positive individuals.

Vietnam expects to receive financial contributions until to 2007 for
$185 million from international agencies, some foreign governments
and non governmental organizations, according to Huynh Thi Nhan.

Vietnam needs greater financial support from the international
community to boost its action plan until 2010 and the strategy Vision
2020, when they have planned to control AIDS.


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