The Planning Law (the Law), which was passed in last November, marks an institutional transformation aimed at synchronizing and unifying the current planning regulations.
Supervision of planning activities
With 59 articles arranged in six chapters, the Law establishes a national system of master plans and fundamental principles for planning work and defines the responsibility for state management of planning work. It regulates the formulation, appraisal, decision on, or approval, publicization, implementation, evaluation and adjustment of, master plans.
The national system of master plans
Under the Law, the national system of matter plans has five levels, including national, regional and provincial master plans, master plans of special administrative-economic units, and master plans of urban and rural areas. National master plans are divided into four categories, namely overall master plan, national marine space master plan, national land use master plan, and national sectoral master plans.
The Law abolishes master plans on specific industries and products. This is an important change brought about by the Law.
Regarding the relationship among master plans of different levels and categories, the Law says that the national overall master plan will serve as a basis for the formulation of all other master plans nationwide. A national sectoral master plan must conform to the national overall master plan, national marine space master plan or national land use master plan. Regional master plans must be in line with all national master plans. Provincial master plans must tally with national and regional master plans. Meanwhile, master plans of urban and rural areas must follow national, regional and provincial master plans.
National sectoral master plans and technical and specialized plans are listed in two appendices to the Law.
The planning period of master plans in the system of national master plans is 10 years with a vision of 30-50 years for national master plans or 20-30 years for regional and provincial master plans.
Rights and responsibilities of agencies, organizations, communities and individuals to contribute their opinions on and supervise planning activities are defined in Article 12 of the Law. Accordingly, agencies, organizations and communities are entitled to contribute opinions on and supervise planning activities while individuals may give their opinions on planning activities.
Agencies assigned to formulate, appraise, decide on or approve, implement and adjust master plans will have to create conditions for agencies, organizations, communities and individuals to contribute opinions on and supervise planning activities.
Under Article 19 of the Law, planning agencies will collect opinions on master plans of ministries, ministerial-level agencies, People’s Committees at all levels in related localities and related agencies, organizations, communities and individuals. Particularly, opinions on national sectoral master plans will be collected by the agencies in charge of formulation of master plans. For a regional and provincial master plan, the planning agency will have to consult provincial-level People’s Committees of adjacent localities.
Opinions of agencies, organizations and individuals will be collected by sending dossiers and documents on master plans and posting them on planning agencies’ websites. Consulted agencies and organizations will be required to reply in writing. Communities’ opinions on master plans will be collected by posting master plans on planning agencies’ websites, displaying master plans at public places, delivering questionnaires and making interviews, holding conferences or seminars in accordance with the law on exercise of democracy in communes, wards and townships.
Collected opinions on planning activities must be studied, assimilated, explained and publicized.
International cooperation in planning activities
According to Article 11 of the Law, international cooperation in planning activities covers experience sharing, application of scientific and technological advances, and training and attraction of human resources for planning work.
The international cooperation must conform to Vietnam’s lines and policies on external affairs and follow the principles of peace, cooperation and friendship for mutual development on the basis of respect for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and mutual benefits and respect for Vietnam’s law and relevant treaties to which Vietnam is a contracting party.
This Law will take effect on January 1, 2019. Its provisions on the formulation and appraisal of national, regional and provincial master plans took effect on March 1, 2018.
To ensure implementation of the Planning Law, the Vietnam Maritime Code and 24 relevant laws will be revised. This list is promulgated together with the Law.- (VLLF)