VN to adopt anti-forced labour convention, extend agricultural land use tax incentive: NA
Vietnam plans to join the Convention 105 (C105) on the abolition of forced labour developed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee concluded at its 44th session on Tuesday.
Farmers harvestteaat a farm in northern Tuyen Quang Province. NA members say the extension of agricultural land use tax exemption will help ease the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic agriculture.
Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung said Việt Nam’s participation in the convention was in accordance with the Party’s guidelines and the 2013 Constitution to ensure human and civil rights. In addition, it shows Việt Nam’s political commitments in implementing ILO member states’ obligations and new generation free trade agreements, he said.
According to the NA’s member, the country’s participation to and implementation of C105 will not increase social expenses, and will not change Việt Nam’s international obligations as it has already joined the ILO Convention No. 29 on Forced Labour since 2007 and C105’s standards have been incorporated into the commitments under EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) with Việt Nam as a member.
Nguyễn Văn Giàu, NA External Relations Committee Chairman, said to effectively adopt the C105, the Government will have to issue regulations detailing the behavioral forms of forced labour to create a transparent legal corridor for law enforcement agencies, workers and businesses to quickly identify the issue.
NA Standing Committee agreed on the necessity to join the convention and highly appreciate the dossier of accession which is set to be approved at the ninth plenary session of NA in May.
Hoàng Thanh Tùng, chairman of the NA Legal Affairs Committee, stressed the significance of joining the convention as a positive move after becoming a member of ILO’s C29 on forced labours and other new generation trade agreements.
NA Permanent Chairwoman Tòng Thị Phóng said the NA Standing Committee agreed to apply the convention directly, without reservation of terms as well as develop the ratification of the convention in three languages, Vietnamese, English and French.
The convention no. 105 adopted by ILO in 1957 has ten articles. The content of the Convention focuses on Article 1 and Article 2; Articles 3 to 10 are procedural rules.
On the same day, the NA Standing Committee discussed the extension of the tax exemption for agricultural land use.
Nguyễn Đức Hải, chairman of NA Financial and Budget Committee, said the committee agreed with the Government’s report on the need to continue agricultural land use tax exemption for the period 2021-2025 to ease burdens on farmers suffering under impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as encouraging private investment into agriculture and improve competitiveness in the global market.
Members said policies of agricultural land use tax had to be considered and evaluated in correlation with the Land Law, the Law on Non-agricultural Land Use Tax, other taxes and levies applied on land such as land fee or land rent.
Currently, the Government is also studying the possibility of developing a Property Tax Law, which includes agricultural land.
Nguyễn Văn Giàu raised concerns over potential impacts on the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Agriculture in terms of domestic support commitments.
Agreeing with the exemption of agricultural land use tax, NA Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân said in the time of a financial crisis, the agricultural sector would help lift Việt Nam’s economy. She urged the financial and budget committee to carefully evaluate impacts and drawbacks of the tax exemption to encourage the efficient use of agricultural land.
According to the Government’s report, over two decades of the policy’s implementation, total exempted and reduced tax in the period of 2003-2010 was nearly VNĐ3.3 trillion (US$141 million) per year. The average rose to VNĐ6.3 trillion ($269 million) per year between 2011 and 2016 and is expected to reach VNĐ7.4 trillion ($316 million) per year by the end of 2020.
The incentive has encouraged the farm economy, application of innovations in agriculture, created jobs, eased the pressure of labour migration and increase wages for the agricultural workforce. — VNS