Eighteen laws and 11 resolutions were passed and 12 draft laws and many important socio-economic issues considered at the eighth session of the 13th National Assembly (NA) that ended yesterday.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, NA office chairman Nguyen Hanh Phuc said the session had completed its schedule over 33 working days.
Delegates spent two thirds of the session reviewing and building laws on implementation of the new Constitution, especially those relating to the organisation of the State, the NA, the People's Court and the People's Procuracy.
Most of the passed laws aim to improve economic institutions, State organisation, human rights, citizens' responsibilities, administration and judicial reform. They are also aimed at the renovation of education, science and technology, the environment and the consolidation of national defence and society security.
Many laws are expected to create positive changes in society and the economy, such as laws on housing, real estate business, investment, tax, and management and use of State capital for investment in production and business.
The NA passed several important resolutions, including an amended resolution on votes of confidence for people holding posts approved by the NA or People's Council.
Another important resolution was on improving the effects of economic restructuring in the fields of public investment, State enterprises and banks.
The NA spent nearly three days questioning ministers of industry and trade, home affairs, transport, labour, invalids and social affairs and the Prime Minister.
Earlier the same day, NA deputies passed two resolutions, one ratifying the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the other on Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The first resolution said Viet Nam did not consider Article 2 item 8 in the Convention as a direct legal basis for extradition, saying that extradition was conducted in accordance with Vietnamese law.
It added that Viet Nam would build and fine-tune its legal system suitable to the Convention.
Meanwhile, the resolution ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities underlined Viet Nam's commitment to implementing this Convention in all aspects.
Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) attended the session.
The Torture Convention aims to eradicate cruel and inhumane treatment and punishment. It was approved by the UN resolution in 1984.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2006 and came into force in 2008. NA deputies also discussed the need for a veterinary law. Currently Viet Nam only has an ordinance on veterinary matters.
Deputies said the declaration of an epidemic had to be quickly announced to limit damage. The drafting committee's report said that the implementation of the Ordinance on Veterinary matters revealed that this would prevent epidemics spreading.
Deputy Tran Van Minh from Quang Ninh Province and deputy Hoang Thi To Nga from Nam Dinh Province said that the responsibility should be given to the chairman of the province where outbreaks of disease occurred.
They said one of the conditions for announcing an epidemic was the availability of a diagnosis by a competent authority identifying the cause of the disease.
Deputy Minh said if the responsibility was given to provincial chairmen, the mobilisation of human resources and the organisation of epidemic control would be more effective.
Deputy Do Van Ve from Thai Binh Province said the law should clarify the indicators for an epidemic.
Deputies also discussed Government responsibilities in epidemics, animal quarantine and slaughtering and the processing of meat products.
NA targets economic restructuring completion by 2015’s end
The National Assembly (NA) on November 28 approved a resolution on the continued improvement of the effectiveness of the economic restructuring in public investment, State-owned enterprises and the banking system with a target of basically completing the work by the end of 2015.
The resolution reads that the economic restructuring, started in 2011, has brought about initial outcomes in the three areas, resulting in comprehensive socio-economic improvements, especially in economic growth, job creation, poverty reduction, people’s incomes, and sci-tech capacity.
However, the process also revealed a number of problems in the economy regarding support industries, competitiveness, workforce quality, investment in public and high technology sectors, and the reorganisation of State-owned enterprises and the banking system.
To improve the economic restructuring’s effectiveness from now to the end of 2015, the NA asks the Government to clarify targets, roadmaps and methods of allocating resources and mobilising social engagement in the work.
It is necessary to combine the restructuring and international economic integration as well as attach industrial and service restructuring to agricultural restructuring, the resolution says.
The parliament also requires the Government to complete the ratification of restructuring projects for sectors and localities in the second quarter of 2015 at the latest, and facilitate the scientific and technological application in production and business.
Basing on the outcomes during 2011-2015, the Cabinet will build a economic restructuring plan for the 2016-2020 period to be submitted to the legislature at its 10 th session in October 2015.
Q&A sessions, confidence vote – highlights of NA’s 8th session
A number of National Assembly (NA) deputies considered question-and-answer (Q&A) sessions and the confidence vote as highlights of the 13th NA’s freshly-concluded eighth session.
During this session, legislators questioned Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Home Affairs Nguyen Thai Binh, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang, and Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung also directly responded to issues of voters’ concern.
Deputy Phan Van Quy from central Nghe An province called this time’s Q&A sessions fruitful since answers given by the PM and the ministers substantively dealt with “hot” problems, showing their high sense of responsibility.
He valued the Cabinet members’ promises and feasible implementation measures, taking Minister Vu Huy Hoang’s solutions to smuggled and counterfeit goods, and Minister Dinh La Thang’s ways to tackle the increase of traffic projects’ costs as examples.
Q&A sessions touched upon pressing and complicated matters, deputy Tran Ngoc Vinh from northern Hai Phong city said, adding that more time is needed for more ministers to respond to concerned problems in the next NA sessions.
Sharing the same view, deputy Bui Thi An from Hanoi said PM Nguyen Tan Dung gave relatively proper answers to lawmakers’ questions, and proposed more time for his Q&A session.
Another highlight of this session, as many lawmakers said, was the vote of confidence on 50 officials holding positions elected or approved by the NA.
Tran Ngoc Vinh said several officials who received high rates of low confidence vote in the first vote of confidence last year strived to improve their performance, resulting in better rates of high confidence vote this time such as Minister Dinh La Thang and Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Nguyen Van Binh.
Deputy Phan Van Tan from Nghe An said the confidence vote’s results satisfactorily reflected legislators and voters’ assessment of the officials.
The parliament should make better use of Q&A sessions and confidence vote and perfect these supervising tools so as to promote officials’ accountability and sense of responsibility, he added.