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Lawmakers debate draft legislation

Update: August, 15/2012 - 10:06

HA NOI — The National Assembly's Standing Committee discussed laws on electricity, co-operatives and prevention and mitigation of natural disasters yesterday, the second day of the assembly's 10th session.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said the draft law on prevention and mitigation of natural disasters defined regulations on all activities related to dealing with natural disasters as well as outlining the responsibilities and tasks of various agencies in prevention and response work.

It also regulated that the State encourage and protect the legal rights of individuals and organisations that invest in technologies that help prevent and minimise natural disasters, Phat said.

Support for victims of natural disasters and investment policies related to work on natural disaster mitigation are mentioned in the law, he said.

A representative of the NA's Committee for Science, Technology and Environment said the law's passage was important as it will serve as a legal base for these activities and contribute to the sustainable socio-economic development.

He said it would also legalises international conventions adopted by Viet Nam while also helping disaster mitigation work to become more pro-active, effective and efficient.

Law makers agreed with the committee about the necessity of the law. However, Phung Quoc Hien, chairman of the NA's Finance and Budget Committee, said the drafting board should review the draft and specify punishment for breaches of the law and regulations on responsibilities of relevant individuals and agencies to ensure the feasibility of the law.

Other law makers shared the same opinion as Hien. Truong Thi Mai, chairwoman of the committee, said it was necessary to differentiate the responsibilities of relevant agencies at the central level from the local level and there should be a specific mechanism on co-ordination among them.

Deputy chairman of the NA Uong Chu Luu said the State should play a leading role in mobilising all resources and forces in prevention and mitigation of natural disasters.

Law-makers also discussed the establishment and operation of a fund for work on preventing and minimising natural disasters.

Yesterday afternoon, NA law-makers also discussed draft amendments to the Law on Co-operatives and Law on Electricity.

Many members of the committee reached agreement on the definition of co-operatives to clearly express relations among the members of co-operatives as well as their benefits.

However, they also suggested it is necessary to ensure clearer regulations on the rights and responsibilities of members to raise their co-operative's self-reliance and minimise reliance on State support.

Law-makers also considered the differences and similarities between co-operatives and enterprises, and whether co-operatives should be defined as a type of enterprise.

Chairman of the NA Nguyen Sinh Hung said the draft amendments of the Law on Co-operatives would contribute to boosting the development of co-operatives, and suggested that the drafting board should review amendments based on experts' suggestions.

Members of the committee debated electricity regulatory fees as listed in the Law on Electricity.

Some participants at the meeting said this kind of fee is necessary to maintain the independent operation of a regulatory agency on electricity during a time when the electricity market is undergoing reform. This would also minimise reliance on funds from the State budget.

Meanwhile, others said the agency was under State management and so should be funded by the State budget.

Hien said the drafting board should carefully consider the impact of this fee on society before making a final decision. —VNS

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