Complaint bill scrutinized
Deputies attending the 9th session of the National Assembly yesterday discussed the bill on complaints in their working groups.
Under the bill, citizens will have two options, either sending a complaint directly to an authority that has the right to make a ruling on an administrative decision or filing the case at a court.
Many deputies expressed their concern about the workability of some of the law's provisions. They said the two approaches outlined were already used in reality, yet their enforcement was weak. They said it was high time to find a new and appropriate mechanism to handle citizen complaints.
Deputy Nguyen Dang Trung said the law on complaints and the law on administrative litigation had a strong relationship, so it was vital the two laws did not contradict each other.
He wondered why only the law on administrative litigation would be approved at the current sitting of the National Assembly, and suggested that the scope of the law on complaints should only govern relationship between citizens and the State.
Deputy Tran Du Lich said the law should be geared towards the use of reconciliation as a primary settlement tool, prior to the lodging of a complaint as a final resort.
"By doing so we will be able to reduce the number of administrative litigation cases," said Lich.
Regarding the suggested 30-45 day time limit to handle a complaint as outlined in the bill, deputy Tat Thanh Cang said it was too short.
"In HCM City the number of complaints is huge, and many cases which remain unresolved after a first hearing await a decision by the chairman of the City People's Committee," said Cang.
Yesterday afternoon, deputies discussed the draft law on consumer rights protection, which includes 6 chapters and 51 articles.
They focused on the roles, legal status, rights and responsibilities of organisations in charge of protecting consumer rights and settling disputes between consumers and businesses.
Deputy Nguyen Thu Ha from the Central Highland province of Gia Lai said that online purchasing had developed, but in some cases consumers were at a disadvantage.
Ha said the draft law should also include regulations for buyers and sellers who have an e-business, adding that if a consumer buys a low-quality product, he or she should have the right to return it free-of-charge within a certain period of time.
Deputy Tran Quoc Khanh from Ha Noi suggested there should be a warning system for harmful products, which would allow producers to take responsibility for their products and change their operations.
Deputy Vu Tien Loc said the definition of "consumers" should cover only individuals, not organisations, because the State did not have enough resources to protect organisations like State agencies, local authorities, social organisations and companies.
According to Loc, organisations have enough conditions, experiences and knowledge to protect themselves.
Calls for coherence
National Assembly deputies on Thursday said there was a need to make draft documents for the 11th Party Congress early next year more coherent.
They convened in separate groups to discuss political programmes for national construction in the transition to socialism, the 2011-20 strategy for socio-economic development and the political report covering the Party's 10th tenure.
Deputy Nguyen Thi Nguyet Huong proposed that the slogan "Driving Viet Nam to become an industrialised country by 2020" be tied to concrete targets.
NA deputy Nguyen Ngoc Dao voiced doubts about the lack of detail about what agricultural targets each city and province were expected to possess by 2020.
He said Vinh Phuc Province was an exception and had determined to put the percentage of agriculture production at 15 per cent.
NA deputy Pham Thi Loan suggested the draft should not lay too much emphasis on making the country industrialised by 2020 because Viet Nam had not yet been able to modernise its backward agricultural economy.
"Why don't we develop industrial production in harmony with agricultural production," she said.
Deputies Dao and Huong asked for clarification of what a Socialist-oriented market economy actually was.
"The country's development orientation will be clearer when we are able to pinpoint what it is," Huong said.
The deputies also asked the compiling committee to explain the difference between a socialist-oriented market economy and a socialist-oriented market institution as the two had been mentioned in separate drafts.
Other deputies voiced their concerns over the widening gap between rich and poor as well as rampant corruption and waste uncovered in many unit at different levels.
They said the Party's draft documents did not pay due attention to analysing the reasons for this so it was difficult to find answers.
"Although the Party has resolutions against corruption, the State has an anti-corruption law and each city and province has an anti-corruption board, corruption and waste remain rampant and are becoming increasingly sophisticated," NA deputy Nguyen Dang Kinh said.
During the meeting, deputies also asked the Party to acknowledge the increasing role of the private sector in the economy in the drafts.
They said draft strategy for socio-economic development what role State-owned and private businesses should play.
They said the private sector was contributing more and more to the national economy by generating jobs for labourers and contributing about 60 per cent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product. — VNS