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Public investment law drafted

Update: February, 22/2014 - 10:23
VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Hoa
HA NOI  (VNS) — The National Assembly will choose a list of key national programmes and projects funded by state budgets and government bonds that will be included in the country's middle-term investments.

This is part of the draft law on public investment that was discussed at the 25th session of the National Assembly Standing Committee yesterday.

However, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said such projects in the middle-term investment plans should be approved by the government as is currently done.

This, he added, is because that practice is effective and has helped improve democracy and the sense of responsibility among ministries and agencies.

Moreover, Vinh remarked that because of changing conditions during the middle term when the government decided on the list of investment projects, the process would become flexible, and over time, projects could be changed to adapt to new conditions.

Chairman of the National Assembly Economics Committee Nguyen Van Giau stated that under the draft, all programmes and projects that were funded partly or wholly with public investments must submit their investment plans and get them approved. Currently, the National Assembly will only consider and approve investment plans for key national projects, Giau noted.

The draft has more regulations covering the authority responsible for approving investment plans and deciding investments, Giau said.

The NA Finance and State Budget Chairman Phung Quoc Hien noted that those who make the decision for resources or funding for a project should be the ones who decide on its investment plan.

For example, the National Assembly will decide on projects funded with government bonds.

Chairman of the Committee for Ethnic Minorities Ksor Phuoc said the National Assembly's role is to guide and supervise, while the government will implement and manage.

He said it was necessary to include the agencies responsible for public investments as it was especially useful if public investment projects were ineffective.

He also urged regulations to increase transparency at various stages of public investment projects from project selection and bidding information to implementation progress and assessment.

NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung emphasised the importance of the authorised agencies that selected investment plans and urged for clarity on groups of projects based on criteria such as their role, scale or sectors.

He said organisations representing the people, such as the National Assembly, will decide investment plans only, while individuals who signed investment decisions would manage and shoulder the responsibility.

The draft law on public investment will cover the management and use of public capital. However, the state's capital in enterprises is not subject to this law but to the law on managing and using the state's capital in production. This law is expected to be next on the National Assembly's agenda.

Also, yesterday afternoon, members of the NA Standing Committee discussed the revised Construction Law, particularly with regard to regional, provincial or urban/rural planning, granting construction licenses and managing project construction.

Earlier the same day, lawmakers discussed the law project on amendments and supplements to some articles of the Civil Aviation Law. They agreed with the need for amendments and supplements aimed at increasing state management and business efficiency for aviation businesses as well as ensuring passengers' interests.

However, they proposed the compiling board continue reviewing the draft law project's regulations to ensure they match other laws.

Most of the deputies agreed to add regulations on unmanned aircraft and ultra-light aircraft as the operation of these vehicles are closely related to aviation security and safety as well as to national defence and security.

Lawmakers also discussed the implementation of a resolution on procedures for conducting a vote of confidence on persons holding elected positions or those appointed by the NA or People's Councils.

They said the move was greatly welcomed by the public since it served as a channel to assess public servants and help raise their responsibilities as well as state management efficiency.

However, many deputies suggested more research was needed to perfect the resolution and proposed the NA Standing Committee temporarily delay conducting such a vote of confidence beyond the upcoming seventh session of the 13th NA, which is scheduled for May this year. — VNS

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