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Deputies urge end to energy monopoly

Update: June, 21/2012 - 10:11

 

Workers prepare a 110-kV transmission line in northern Hung Yen Province. An amendment on the Law on Energy to allow competition has been called for by NA deputies. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha
HA NOI — National Assembly deputies yesterday called for amendment of the seven-year-old Law on Energy and an end to the monopoly of the electricity sector, emphasising the need to encourage and diversify capital investment in the sector and promote energy conservation.

An amended law was also needed to improve the quality and effectiveness of the nation's power infrastructure and to ensure national energy security, deputies agreed.

Power prices needed to be deregulated, subject to market pricing within Government guidelines, they said.

Deputy Le Thi Nguyet from the northern province of Vinh Phuc also urged the Government to differentiate electricity rates charged to industry and to the general public. Nguyen Thanh Phuong from Can Tho City also expressed her disagreement with existing wide disparities in rates and called for more transparency in the rate-making process.

Tran Tien Dung from the central province of Ha Tinh said the law needed to include a provision on the obligations of electricity suppliers towards users – both households and businesses – if their unstable power supplies seriously affected residents' lives or interfered with business production.

Deputy Bui Thanh An from Ha Noi demanded a level playing field in the power sector between suppliers and users.

"It is important to define clearly the rights and obligations of each party involved in the game," said An. "In planning, it is important to decentralise to local authorities the power to license the construciton of small power plants. By so doing, we can avoid fragmented construction."

The Government should subsidise power development in remote regions, particularly those inhabited by the ethnic minorities, An added.

NA passes five more laws

Yesterday afternoon, the National Assembly adopted five more laws - on prices, judicial assessment, law dissemination and education, dealing with administrative violations and an amended law on trade unions.

The Law on Price stipulates that the State manages prices under a market mechanism and respects right by organisations and individuals to decide prices.

The State will stabilise the prices of oil and gas products, electricity, nitrogenous fertiliser, NPK fertiliser, vaccines for poultry and cattle, milk for children under six years, sugar, rice, and essential medicines.

The State will decide the prices of goods and services of its monopolies, important resources and national reserves, public products and public services.

The law on law dissemination and education stipulates citizens' right to access legal information.

It prohibits the dissemination of distorted legal contents, the provision of information and materials that goes against the truth, law, social ethics and fine traditions. It also bans the dissemination of hostile policies to sow divisions in national great unity and violate the State's interest and agencies, organisations and individuals' legitimate rights and interests, in the name of popularising legal information.

The amended law on trade unions defines a union's responsibility to protect workers' legitimate rights and interests, be they members of a trade union or not. The law does not stipulate foreign workers' right to join the Viet Nam Trade Union. — VNS

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