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National Assembly opens 10th session

Update: October, 21/2015 - 09:14
The National Assembly began the 10th session of its 13th tenure with a ceremony at Dien Hong Hall in the National Assembly House in Ha Noi yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Dan

HA NOI (VNS) — The National Assembly's 13th tenure opened its 10th session and the last in 2015 with a live broadcast from the National Assembly House in Ha Noi yesterday.

The session, scheduled to last 31 days, will focus on building laws to implement the 2013 Constitution and monitoring, assessing and deciding important socio-economic issues.

Opening the session, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung stressed the session had a large workload to support the country efforts to fulfill its socio-economic development goals for 2015.

The NA Chairman said the session was expected to examine and pass 18 bills and several resolutions while giving opinions on eight other draft laws.

Party organisations at all levels are preparing for the elections of the 14th National Assembly and People's Councils in 2016.

At this session, the NA will decide the date for the elections of the 14th National Assembly and People's Councils for the 2016-2021 tenure. The NA will also establish a National Electoral Council, elect the Chairman and approve the Vice Chairmen and members of the council.

The NA will elect a General Secretary of the legislative body.

This year's Q&A sessions would differ from previous sittings, Nguyen Hanh Phuc, Chairman of the Office of the National Assembly, said.

Cabinet members would be required to answer questions on the floor regarding their perfomance without prior notice.

Economic growth

Viet Nam expects economic growth to accelerate next year amid government reforms aimed at attracting foreign investment.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in a report delivered to the National Assembly that the Government was forecasting gross domestic product to expand 6.7 per cent in 2016, slightly more than this year's expected 6.5 per cent growth.

The Prime Minister also said the Government was seeking to keep inflation below 5 per cent next year, while the poverty rate was expected to fall between 1.3 per cent and 1.5 per cent and 76 per cent of the population should be covered by health insurance.

According to the report, 13 out of the 14 socio-economic development targets set for 2015 in an NA resolution are expected to be reached or exceeded. The sole unreachable aim relates to forest coverage.

The report stated that the nation's socio-economic situation in the first nine months of this year continued to recover with numerous positive results. Macro-economy was essentially stabilised and inflation was curbed at a low level.

September's consumer price index rose 0.4 per cent in the January-September period, the lowest rate increase in the past 15 years.

Total outstanding credit is estimated to increase 10.8 per cent, nearly 1 per cent higher than the deposit growth rate, which shows improvement in clearing credit capital for business and investment development.

In the period, VND683 trillion (US$30.7 billion) was contributed to the State budget, equal to 75 per cent of the yearly estimate and up 7 per cent year-on-year. Revenue from oil and import-export activities were low, only equal to 55.7 per cent and 70.5 per cent of the yearly estimates, which was attributed to decreases in the prices of crude oil and several commodities. Meanwhile, State budget spending was VND823.97 trillion (US$37.07 billion), or 71.8 per cent of the estimate and up 7.8 per cent year-on-year.

The Government leader also pointed to shortcomings and difficulties in the country's socio-economic situation. Labour productivity and the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of the economy remained low. State budget overspending was high while public debt rose rapidly; bad debt has yet to be handled and trade deficits rose again. Market economy institutions improved, but slowly, and corruption persists.

Based on the five-year socio-economic development plan for 2016 to 2020, the Government drew up several general targets for next year with the aim to maintain macro-economic stability, strive for higher economic growth, improve growth quality and ensure sustainable development.

Voters' concerns

President of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee, Nguyen Thien Nhan, delivered a report summarising the opinions and proposals of voters across the country.

In preparation for the tenth session, 4,492 opinions and proposals from voters and members of the public were collected, VFF President Nhan said.

The voters appreciated the Q&A sessions during the 9th session of the 13th NA as well as the improvements in the supervisory activities of the NA, the NA Standing Committee, the VFF Central Committee and relevant agencies and sectors, he noted.

They also spoke highly of the first comprehensive review of preferential policies for people rendering services to the nation, with more than 2 million people enjoying preferential policies.

Environmental pollution, food safety issues, social evils, and traffic accidents also worried voters, and they asked for more efficient measures to increase the quality of economic growth and productivity.

Many voters are worried about climate change, with natural disasters and floods in many places, as well as rising sea levels in coastal provinces that had negative impacts on people's lives and production.

Many expressed their concerns over shortcomings in the fight against corruption, including inefficient prevention measures, limited detection of corruption and ineffective recovery of illegally-obtained assets. They continued to express displeasure at China's recent activities in the so-called Sansha city, which has no legal foundation and does not change the fact that the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago belongs to Viet Nam.

Challenges ahead

At the end of the morning sitting, the NA heard a report delivered by the Head of the National Assembly's Committee for Economic Affairs Nguyen Van Giau, which assessed the implementation of the NA's Resolution on socio-economic development plans in 2015 and 2016, and results reaped from 2011-2015.

The report stressed that Viet Nam had yielded important outcomes in nearly all fields, essentially fulfilling socio-economic development goals set for 2015.

However, it also revealed shortcomings in the limited quality, efficiency and competitiveness of the national economy; tumbling output and export values of the agricultural sector; and difficulties in consumption seriously impacting producer income, especially farmers.

Some social problems persist, including the rise of serious criminal cases. Efforts to safeguard national sovereignty in the seas and islands are coping with new difficulties and challenges whilst administrative reform, anti-corruption and waste prevention have yet to meet the standard.

The NA's Committee for Economic Affairs concurred with measures to promote socio-economic development in 2016 put forth in the Government report. It suggested the Government continue implementing the 2013 Constitution, fine-turning the legal system and removing delays in issuing documents guiding the enforcement of laws.

The committee asked the Government to design more flexible monetary and fiscal policies, focus efforts on resolving difficulties facing enterprises, intensify measures to support goods consumption and promotion, improve the trade imbalance with China, effectively settle bad debts and strictly control public debt and advance disbursement for capital construction.

They also underlined the need to attract foreign-invested projects using advanced technologies to increase added value for exports and push the implementation of a VND30-trillion credit package to support the construction and purchase of social housing in order to not only satisfy increasing demand in the field and also stimulate recovery in the real estate market. — VNS

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