Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — New decrees are to liberate productive forces, facilitate businesses and people, and drive development, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said yesterday.
The PM said this during a Government meeting on legislation when officials focussed their discussions on the issuance of 51 decrees providing guidelines for enterprise and investment laws.
Ministries have been speeding up projects to complete the draft decrees for two months, striving to issue them by July 1, 2016 – one year after the laws took effect. Phúc has constantly affirmed that the deadline must be met to avoid “a legal gap” by that time.
Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tiến Dũng told a dialogue on business conditions on Wednesday that the Ministry of Justice had assessed 49 out of 51 draft decrees. Two other ones were being finalised by the Ministry of Defence and the State Audit Office of Việt Nam.
Phúc stressed that the new decrees must not copy the business conditions previously stipulated in circulars of ministries. “With the spirit of facilitating business and citizens, we are resolute in not creating a situation where some privileged groups may control policies.”
Dũng said that before all decrees are issued, documentation agencies must continue to poll enterprises to eliminate unreasonable investment and business conditions that hinder their operations.
The Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), on behalf of the domestic business community, proposed eliminating about 70 investment and business conditions that it considered unnecessary in the 49 assessed draft decrees.
It also suggested that 100 other conditions should be revised, but did not specify what these were.
Describing outcomes of the Wednesday dialogue, VCCI Chairman Vũ Tiến Lộc told Việt Nam Television (VTV) that ministries and sectors “showed high consensus as they basically agreed with opinions of the business community.”
But different viewpoints remained in the industry and trade sector, so there would be more dialogues between the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and enterprises in this area, he said.
Experts are worried that a variety of “super-decrees” may be born.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reportedly compiled a draft decree that combined 39 circulars, while the Ministry of Health integrated 70 circulars into 12 draft decrees. The MoIT reportedly drafted a decree by joining 23 circulars.
Some experts expressed their concerns to VTV that the documents might be drafted too hastily. Since there is only a week between now and the July 1 deadline, they cast doubts on the quality of the documents.
“It feels as if we are just putting on new clothes on the same body,” lawyer Lê Viết Thọ said. “It is true that everybody is interested in a change in content rather than form.”
Another lawyer, Nguyễn Thanh Bình, said, “Too many decrees [needing assessment at the same time] will put immense pressure on the Ministry of Justice. If there is no suitable way to assess them, the agency may pass inappropriate documents.”
Central Institute of Economic Management deputy director Phan Đức Hiếu said the authorities should promptly publicise the documents, particularly how many business conditions they had revised, and why.
Some entrepreneurs said they were kept out of the “game of business conditions”.
“We have not been told to make any suggestions,” Hồ Xuân Phước, the director of the Ô tô Việt (Việt Auto) Company told VTV.
VTV also reported that five years ago, the MoIT issued Circular No 20, which required enterprises to have authorisation from foreign companies in order to import cars with less than nine seats.
Nguyễn Tuấn, the director of trading firm Thiên An Phú, said automakers such as Toyota, Honda and Ford normally authorised certain agents to distribute cars in Việt Nam. Hardly any secondary agents have the chance for such authorisation.
However, the MoIT reportedly retained the contents of Circular No 20 in its latest draft decree without considering suggestions from businesses.
PM Phúc told a Government meeting a month ago, “Good institutions will create conditions for enterprises to grow. If ministries keep an old state of mind misusing their power, they will kill development.”
Ministries and sectors must put their authority and interests aside to support the business community, he said. — VNS