(River of no return: Mekong faces grim future)

Luke Hunt – Bình Yên Đông lược dịch

UCANews – August 21, 2019

Hình chụp ngày 14 tháng 4 cho thấy một du khách đi ngang đụn cát hay “Toppathatsay” trên bờ sông Mekong đánh dấu năm mới ở Lào hay “Pi Mai” tổ chức ở Luang Prabang. [Ảnh: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP]

Một lần nữa, sông Mekong xuống thấp đến mức kỷ lục, đe dọa việc sản xuất hoa màu, ngư nghiệp và sinh kế của 70 triệu người giữa việc phát triển thái quá và những báo động tàn khốc.  Nhưng hạn hán năm nay, lần thứ hai trong vòng 3 năm, có thể đánh dấu một bước ngoặt và một tương lai đen tối.


Thu thuế với tài xế xe công nghệ, bao nhiêu là vừa?

TT – CÔNG TRUNG – ÁNH HỒNG – 24.09.2019, 10:00
TTCT – Thời gian qua đã xảy ra hàng loạt lùm xùm liên quan đến thu thuế của tài xế xe công nghệ, trong đó tập trung chủ yếu ở tài xế Grab. Nhiều tài xế cho rằng ngưỡng chịu thuế trên 100 triệu đồng/năm, không bao gồm giảm trừ gia cảnh và không trừ chi phí, chẳng hạn như tiền xăng, khấu hao xe…, theo như quy định hiện nay là bất hợp lý và cần phải điều chỉnh.
Thu thuế với tài xế xe công nghệ, bao nhiêu là vừa?
Tài xế tập trung phản đối thu thuế 60.000 đồng/ngày của Grab vào ngày 26-8 tại TP.HCM. -Ảnh: C.TRUNG

Tài xế nói thuế quá “rát”

Theo quy định hiện nay, các tài xế xe công nghệ được xem là cá nhân kinh doanh. Trong trường hợp có thu nhập từ 100 triệu đồng/năm trở xuống sẽ không phải nộp thuế. Trường hợp có thu nhập hơn 100 triệu đồng/năm trở lên sẽ phải nộp thuế trên toàn bộ doanh thu với mức thuế 4,5%, trong đó 3% là thuế giá trị gia tăng (GTGT), 1,5% là thuế thu nhập cá nhân. Nếu nhận tiền thưởng thì nộp thuế 1% trên số tiền được nhận. Tiếp tục đọc “Thu thuế với tài xế xe công nghệ, bao nhiêu là vừa?”

Việt Nam’s energy transition faces challenges

VNN – Update: September, 20/2019 – 09:09
Solar power panels installed in the south-central province of Bình Thuận. The province now has about 95 solar power investors. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Thanh

Việt Nam News talks to Vietnamese and Danish lawmakers and experts about barriers that Việt Nam has faced in energy transition to reach sustainable development goals, experience from Denmark and the two countries’ partnership in the field.

Lê Hồng Tịnh, vice chairman of National Assembly’s Committee of Science, Technology and Environment

Việt Nam has followed the global trend of developing renewable energy. Located in the equatorial zone, Việt Nam has a natural advantage in solar power. In the context that hydropower potentials are running out and imported coal pollutes the environment, it is a priority of Việt Nam to implement wind and solar power policies.

However, if solar power develops at a too rapid speed, it will cause an imbalance in the power system. A cloud blocking the sun can interrupt the system.

European countries have their power system connected to a general European network. When the grid of one country is interrupted, they buy electricity from the general regional power system. Unlike Việt Nam, the power system is not connected to any regional network. Therefore in case of interrupted transmission, it is difficult to find alternative sources of energy.

Việt Nam has revised the Law on Electricity, Law on Economical and Efficient Use of Energy and related laws to attract and encourage the public to engage in using renewable energy.

The Vietnam Electricity has offered assistance of VNĐ1 million (US$43) for each household installing solar-powered water heaters. Now we have to adopt policies in which families can sell extra solar power on their roofs to integrate into the national grid.

We need also an electricity tax policy. The National Assembly has conducted studies to work with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to make amendments and supplements to related laws.

Professor Trần Đình Long, full member of International Academy of Electrotechnical Sciences, vice president of Việt Nam Electrical Engineering Association

Việt Nam has not mapped out an appropriate plan for national electricity structure in the long term. Việt Nam used to target a low proportion of renewable energy in the plan. After that, following the global trend, the proportion of renewable energy has been adjusted to increase.

The percentage of renewable energy accounted for in the national electricity structure needs comprehensive planning on power sources and grids.

Experience from around the world including European countries, China and India shows renewable energy policies start from feed-in tariff and preferential treatment for clean energy. Việt Nam needs to conduct insightful research to adopt a general appropriate feed-in tariff policy. This must answer questions of how electricity prices are supported, through loans or preferential import-export policies.

Dr Vũ Minh Pháp, Institute of Energy Science, Việt Nam Academy of Science and Technology

The barrier of Việt Nam is weakness in technology quality inspection. Technologies of solar and wind power from global manufacturers have entered Việt Nam at a rapid speed. However, there is no Vietnamese unit in charge of inspecting these devices to check whether the technologies are well suited to the Vietnamese environment. Another barrier is that there has been no study in Việt Nam that finds proper answers to the question of how to treat waste after solar and wind power projects reach their end of life.

Steen Gade, former member of Danish Parliament, former chairman of the Climate, Energy and Building Committee

I think Việt Nam needs to combine energy politics with climate issues. Việt Nam needs to combine economic growth with a very strong environmental and climate agenda.

Denmark has experience in involving people. It has been the centre in Denmark when we need high prices of energy, we discuss in public, in media, in organisations, among ordinary people to find out the best solution.

In Denmark, local farmers in rural areas made co-operatives where they own wind mills and they can sell wind power to the grid. That means it was an economic benefit for farmers, at the same time, it started the process of renewable energy. We combine economy and environment and we focus on renewable energy. We have developed action between people, topic discussions, media, education and politics.

Aton Beck, director of global co-operation, Danish Energy Agency

We have very good co-operation with the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the electricity of renewable energy authority on how to ensure more renewable energy in Việt Nam’s system. On November 4th, we will launch a new Việt Nam’s energy outlook that will look into different kinds of scenarios for the long-term transition in Việt Nam. There is definitely a huge potential for wind, solar energy and biomass in Việt Nam.

Next year, Denmark will have more than 50 per cent of our electricity consumption based on wind. We can integrate it into our system. In 2028, we will have 100 per cent of electricity consumption based on wind.

Denmark has some good experience and we would like to share with Việt Nam.

Việt Nam has very successful economic growth but it also creates challenges in the energy sector including higher energy demand, higher dependence on coal, higher emissions of greenhouse gases and higher dependence on importing energy with dramatic increase in energy import.

We have good co-operation with the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade to ensure that Việt Nam has the right framework for having international developers coming to Việt Nam to invest. That is really important that you have transparent and simple framework conditions for renewable energy developers. — VNS

Việt Nam ranked in top countries for investment

VNN – Update: September, 19/2019 – 09:00
A view of HCM City – one of Việt Nam’s biggest economic hubs. — Photo baodautu.vn 

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam has climbed in the ranking of best countries in which to invest this year, surpassing other Southeast Asian nations, such as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

A recent report by the US News and World Report ranked Việt Nam eighth out of 29 economies, up from 23 last year. Meanwhile, some neighbouring nations – Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia – stood in thirteenth, fourteenth and eighteenth positions, respectively.
Tiếp tục đọc “Việt Nam ranked in top countries for investment”

Wake up and smell the cinnamon

vietnamnews – Update: September, 08/2019 – 08:13
A worker selects cinnamon to put into a package. Photos courtesy of Gia Chính

By Thanh An

Cinnamon might smell like Christmas to many in the West, but to some Vietnamese farmers, it smells like prosperity.

The spice has been long seen by farmers of Phong Dụ Thượng Commune in the northern province of Yên Bái as a path to escaping poverty.

In recent years, demand for cinnamon has become greater than ever and has helped many households in the province’s Văn Yên District get a better life.

Bearing that in mind, the province has developed an organic cinnamon platform, focusing on building an agricultural sustainable chain from this valuable spice. Tiếp tục đọc “Wake up and smell the cinnamon”