A civil servant in Ninh Bình Province gives instructions to a citizen on how to use public services online. — VNA/VNS Photo Hải Yến
HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) is calling for deep cuts in administrative fees applied to online submission of applications, an effort to incentivise the use of online public services in the country.
In response to the Ministry of Finance's request for comments on a draft decree on administrative fees, VCCI has sent a letter to the ministry to express its support for the draft.
The chamber said the draft's aim to cut administrative fees would give a push to online public services, which remain out of favour with merely one-third of the total number of applications being handled online in 2022.
However, the extent of the cuts specified by the draft might not be large enough to trigger a widespread shift towards online platforms. VCCI is calling for deeper cuts to make online services a go-to choice for applicants.
Under VCCI's proposal, administrative fees should be cut by half for online services with low levels of usage and be abolished for those with very low levels. The cuts, VCCI said, should be implemented outright rather than over a period of time for the best effect.
"Public services with large numbers of applicants but low level of usage should be made eligible for the cuts," said VCCI.
VCCI also said public service providers could use promotional strategies to attract more online users to their services. For example, they could offer a free trial to prospective clients to allow them to test their services before making any payment.
The chamber also called for the incorporation of the "free trials" idea into the draft decree to lay the legal grounds for promotional efforts.
VCCI suggested new users be exempt from administrative fees for their first 20 attempts to use online services on the National Public Service Portal. For other portals, online services should be free of charge for their first two attempts.
The cuts in administrative fees, VCCI added, should be made public on the portals in a similar way to how "sellers advertise their discounted products on billboards". Only by such way applicants can be made aware of free trials for online public services.