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The government allocated resources through its annual plan, which in the 1980s included the annual budget and credit plan. The Ministry of Finance, in consultation with the State Planning Commission, prepared the budget for approval by the Standing Committee of the National Assembly. Both the fiscal year ( FY--see Glossary) and the annual plan year corresponded to the Western calendar year.

The state budget included the revenues and expenditures of the central government, 38 provincial governments, and more than 500 local governments. The state economic enterprises forwarded the bulk of their profits to the state treasury. Tax revenue accounted for about one-third of total budgetary revenue.

Tax measures introduced in 1983 included the imposition of new agricultural levies based on the potential output of collectives rather than actual per capita output and the actual output from private plots (previously exempted from the agricultural tax). In addition, more enterprises were made subject to taxation. Subsequently, total tax revenue from agricultural as well as nonagricultural cooperatives and the private sector increased, reflecting higher official and freemarket prices, more efficient tax collection, and the continued expansion of economic activity.

In the 1980s, Vietnamese authorities did not release budget figures. Data prepared for the 1984 visit of IMF officials, however, revealed a 1983 budget deficit of D20 billion (approximately US$2.2 billion), largely financed by increases in the money supply, the sale of taxes paid in kind, the sale of government-enterprise products, aid in kind, and the various taxes levied on the free market. These revenues were offset by large outlays on employment in the state sector and purchases (primarily of agricultural products) from peasants and cooperatives. The payment of bonuses to production workers, the attempt to match free-market prices, and the high level of food subsidies to the urban population also constituted major budget expenditures.

Data as of December 1987