|Lawmakers participate in confidence vote on the HCM City leadership. The city People's Council Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam received the highest number of "high confidence" votes. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai.
HCM CITY (VNS) — HCM City People's Council Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam received the most number of "high confidence" votes — 73 — from lawmakers in a vote held in the council yesterday to measure the confidence in 18 top officials.
The 90 lawmakers evaluated the performance of officials in the People's Council, People's Committee, departments, and others by polling "high confidence," "confidence," and "low confidence" votes.
Truong Thi Anh, deputy chairwoman of the council and Nguyen Thi Hong, deputy chairwoman of the People's Committee got 70 high confidence votes, the second highest.
Le Hoang Quan, chairman of the People's Committee, got 68 high confidence votes and 19 confidence votes while three said they have low confidence in him.
Thai Van Re, director of the Department of Planning and Investment, received the fewest high confidence votes — 33 – but got 42 confidence votes.
Earlier in the day, lawmakers complained about pollution, flooding, and slow pace of administrative reforms among others to the city government.
Deputy Tran Ngoc Hung, who praised the administration for achieving 9.5 percent GDP growth this year, urged it to pay more attention to protecting the environment. He expressed unhappiness at the proposed target of penalising 95 percent of polluting factories next year, and demanded instead that all of them have to be dealt with.
This year flooding hit many areas despite anti-flooding works, but the city has not reported to the house what measures are proposed to tackle this, he said.
"The city's public debt is at VND22 trillion (US$1 billion), a safe rate. I suggest the city should borrow money to carry out a comprehensive flood prevention programme."
When he met voters, one of the issues raised was the tortuous administrative procedures related to taxation and land, he said, adding inspection of government offices must be strengthened since citizens complain that they are required to met officials several times and submit documents.
To Thi Bich Chau concurred with him about tardy administrative reform, saying there should be improvement in taxation. Companies are afraid of red tape related to tax, she said, adding there has been no easing of complaints in this regard.
In response to a complaint about the environment, Dao Anh Kiet, director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said 251 companies had been inspected this year and 113 polluting ones had been fined VND19 billion ($913,500).
Tam asked Kiet about the progress of efforts he had proposed at the last session — a few months ago — to tackle pollution in some areas.
She questioned him about the progress made in relocating Hoa Sinh Fertiliser Company in Cu Chi District, dealing with polluting factories in Districts Thu Duc, 9, and 12 and building closed rubbish dumps to replace open ones in residential areas.
She urged him to speed up the tasks he had promised to carry out. "Voters are greatly concerned about these issues since it directly affects people's life every minute and second."
The question session in which lawmakers will ask heads of departments about possible problems is scheduled for today. — VNS