NA passes new laws, 2011 budget resolution
National Assembly deputies yesterday approved new laws on inspection, public employees, and environmental protection, as well as passing the State budget resolution for 2011.
The revised Law on Inspection was approved with 81 per cent of deputies in favour. Under the law, all inspections must be in accordance with the law to ensure accuracy, objectivity, transparency and democracy and must not cause obstruction to the normal operations of organisations or individuals subjected to inspection. The law will take effect on July 1, 2011.
With nearly 80 per cent of votes in favour, deputies passed the Law on Public Employees, governing the rights and duties of public employees.
Under the law, a public employee is defined as a Vietnamese citizen who is recruited to work under a signed contract in a specified position within a public, non-productive unit, and who receives his/her salary from the State-run unit's pay fund in accordance with Vietnamese law.
The law will not takes effect until January 1, 2012.
The Law on Environmental Taxation was passed with 80.5 per cent of votes in favour. The law subjects certain substances to taxation based on environmental impacts, including petrol and diesel fuel, grease, coal, hydrofluorocarbons, plastic bags and insecticides.
The law, which also will take effect on January 1, 2012, would also authorise the National Assembly Standing Committee to consider and impose taxes on additional substances not expressly listed in the law.
Lastly, the State budget resolution was approved with 78 per cent of deputies in favour.
Under the resolution, an estimated VND398.7 trillion ($20.5billion) in taxes would be collected at the central level next year, and about VND 206.3 trillion ($10.6 billion) at the local level. Central-level expenditures would total VND 519.3 trillion ($26.6 billion), including VND126.2 trillion ($6.5 billion) to be channeled to localities, primarily for support of agriculture and rural development, with priorities given to provinces in the remote northwest, Central Highlands and southwestern regions.
Pursuant to the resolution, the Government would instruct relevant agencies and local governments to complete their own budget allocation plans for 2011 before December 31 for reporting to the next session of the National Assembly in March of next year.
The resolution also orders the Government to practice thrift as well as give priority to ensuring sufficient resources to carry out social welfare policies, including VND27 trillion ($ 1.4 billion) to increase the wages of State workers.
Yesterday afternoon deputies discussed the draft Law on Complaints, which includes eight chapters and 75 articles.
Under the bill, citizens will have two options: either to send a complaint directly to an authority that has the right to make administrative decisions or to file a court case.
Deputies backed this regulation, saying it conformed to current policy and ensured every illegal administrative decision could be brought to court for trial.
Many expressed concern about how well some of the law's provisions would work.
They said some regulations had not yet met demand; it does not fully incorporate ways to handle complaints in complicated cases where multiple parties are involved.
"I think the draft should, in principle, regulate complaints with many people involved," Deputy Nguyen Thi Kim Thuy said.
The deputy also called for punitive sanctions against those who lodged false complaints and officials who refused to help citizens.
Deputy Le Dung recommended the bill control the way complaints are lodged and addressed.
Deputy Bui Sy Loi suggested entrusting the Government with the task of regulating the sequence and procedure for addressing complaints involving multiple people, while maintaining citizens' rights.
Regarding the suggested three-day time limit to handle a first-time complaint as outlined in the bill, Deputy Tran Thi Phuong Hoa said it was too short. She recommended raising it to five days, beginning the day a complaint is filed.
Hoa said that addressing a complaint within 10 day as regulated in the current draft would also not work.
"The number of complaints increases year on year and it takes a lot of time to verify those complaints relevant to land use issues," she said.
Hoa suggested keeping the 30-45 day time limit to address a complaint as regulated by the Law on Complaints and Denunciation. — VNS