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Official Gazette

Friday, October 7, 2022

National Assembly passes new laws

Updated: 15:05’ - 26/11/2010

At its year-end session starting on October 20, the National Assembly passed new laws on public employees; environmental protection tax; protection of consumer interests; and administrative procedures. It approved amendments to the laws on inspection; minerals; insurance business; securities; and election of National Assembly deputies and People’s Council deputies.

The National Assembly also adopted the resolutions on agricultural land use tax exemption and reduction; and socio-economic development plan, state budget estimates, central budget allocations and the National Assembly’s supervisory activities for 2011.

The revised Law on Inspection requires all inspections to be conducted in accordance with law to ensure accuracy, objectivity, transparency and democracy, and not to obstruct normal operations of organizations or individuals subject to inspection.

The Law on Public Employees regulates the rights and duties of public employees. It defines a public employee as a Vietnamese citizen who is recruited to work under a signed contract at a specified position within a public, non-business unit, and who receives salary from the state-run unit’s pay fund under law.

Under the Law on Environmental Protection Tax, based on environmental impacts, to be taxed substances include petrol and diesel fuel, grease, coal, hydrofluorocarbons, plastic bags and insecticides.

Discussing the bill on independent audit, lawmakers proposed the clarification of the supervisory role of the Audit Association over auditors’ ethics. Deputy Tran Du Lich of Ho Chi Minh City suggested making ethics a requirement for eligible auditors to be the Association’s members.

Many deputies agreed that the existence of an independent audit company very much depended on human honesty and prestige rather than its capital.

Therefore, the current bill is inappropriate in its requirement that the director general and directors of an independent audit company contribute at least one-tenth of its charter capital, they said.

Regarding the bill on denunciations, discussion focused on whether those secretly informing on others should not only be forced to divulge personal details, such as names and addresses, but also supply documents to back up their statements.

However, some deputies said denouncers preferred to remain anonymous because there was limited protection for them. They agreed that the lack of protection for denouncers prevented many people from lodging complaints.

Deputy Tran Van Kiet of Vinh Long southern province suggested the National Assembly have a mechanism to protect denouncers and reward them so as to encourage the denunciation of malpractice.

Debating the bill on Hanoi capital, most deputies agreed that the city needed a unique regime as the nation’s capital.

The most unique characteristic of Hanoi was its geo-political position, other characteristics were similar to those of mega cities, Lich said, explaining that is why the law should create a special regime for Hanoi to better enable the city to perform its function as the country’s political center.

However, some expressed a worry that the bill may lead to residents of the capital city having to pay higher traffic fines and meet stricter residency requirements than people in other localities across the country.

Deputy Tran Ngoc Vinh of Hai Phong asked on what basis Hanoi was given the right to apply traffic fines five times higher than other localities, because current law states that traffic fines must not exceed three times the national level.

Most deputies agreed with the necessity to revise the Civil Procedure Code so as to continue judicial reform and address problems arising from law enforcement.

They also agreed that the proposed changes would further protect the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals in civil proceedings and gradually complete Vietnam’s civil procedure system.

Discussing the measurement bill, deputies said it would help ensure unity and standards in the measurement system, adding that it would protect the lawful benefits and interests of organizations and individuals while ensuring more efficient use of natural resources and energy.

However, they pointed to shortcomings in the bill. Deputy Hua Chu Khem of Soc Trang southern province suggested the bill be clear and easy to understand and asked the drafting group to impose penalties on violators of the measurement rules.

During question-and-answer sessions, Industry and Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang was the first cabinet member to answer deputies’ 38 questions covering power outages; slow completion of electricity generation projects; and amount of water discharged from hydro-electricity reservoirs during floods.

The public was worried about the selection of contractors because many construction and electricity generation projects were behind schedule, said deputy Vu Quang Hai of Hung Yen northern province.

Minister Hoang attributed the slow progress to difficulties in arranging investment, especially during the global economic crisis, pointing to difficulties faced by foreign and domestic investors in raising capital for their projects.

He said his Ministry was currently making a nationwide review of hydro-electricity stations and would cancel licensing those which posed a risk to the environment and economic development.

Regarding bauxite mining in the Central Highlands, the Minister reaffirmed that the project had been listed as a key project of national security with high safety requirements.

He said that after examining and evaluating a project to build Nhan Co Alumina Refinery, results showed that it is a project of high economic value, taking into account managerial costs and market prices.

Health Minister Nguyen Quoc Trieu was asked about high prices of medicines and hospital fees and overload of central and provincial hospitals.

Minister Trieu said overload persisted because the training of personnel had not matched the rapid growth of population while the demand for health care was estimated to have increased 1.5 times over the last decade.

The Ministry of Health had initiated a project to improve the quality of lower-level health care personnel and the transfer of technologies and expertise from central to local health establishments, Trieu said.

Explaining medicine price hikes, he said investigation showed that the products which underwent a sudden rise accounted for five per cent and constituted part of an “imperfect market” in which distributors were insufficiently competitive to curb price fluctuations.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who was the last to answer questions of deputies, said an improved economic structure, raised competitiveness and elimination of trade deficit were strategies to fight inflation in the long term.

He accepted responsibility for the Government’s shortcomings and weaknesses and said the cabinet would continue taking measures to stabilize the market against major fluctuations, such as recovering production; valorizing prices of such essential commodities as electricity, cement, paper and fertilizer; assuring flexible financial and fiscal policies; and intensifying the supervision of price regulations.

Deputies Nguyen Minh Thuyet of Lang Son northern province and Vu Hoang Ha of Binh Dinh central province said they had expected stronger self-criticism from the Government for the Vinashin case. Ha worried that restructuring Vinashin depended too much on external markets.

The Prime Minister affirmed that the group’s two-year restructuring plan was feasible and that the Government would persist with implementing it although the reorganization would be difficult.-


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