The Politburo, the most powerful body of the ruling Communist Party, decided the government's mistakes were not serious enough to merit punishment, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung told the National Assembly.

Hung said on behalf of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung that the decision was based on findings by the party Central Committee's Commission for Inspection. The commission said some officials had made mistakes but had "seriously reviewed" them and "drawn lessons."

Dung and his cabinet also had results to show for their work in managing state-owned enterprises, helping the country emerge from an economic decline, the Politburo found, according to Hung.

Police, however, were investigating the leaders of Vinashin, such as its chairman, so they could be punished, the deputy premier said.

In December, National Assembly deputies had asked the government to clarify its responsibility for Vinashin's plunge into debt.

Vinashin got into financial difficulties when it diversified beyond its core business and the 2008-2009 global recession hit its revenue.

It left the company unable to keep up with its debt repayments, including the first payment of 60 million dollars from a 600-million-dollar bond issue through Credit Suisse in 2007.

Deutsche Presse Agentur - March 22, 2011