Thursday, October 27 2016


VN reconsiders trade laws to aid integration

Update: October, 22/2015 - 10:29
Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung. — Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Lawmakers yesterday heard a report on the draft revised law on export and import tariffs at the 10th session of the 13th National Assembly presented by Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung.

According to the report, participants agreed on the need to revise the law to create a complete and synchronous legal framework. The law's revision will stimulate production development and exports and be in line with the integration process. This will also make the law more transparent and create conditions for socio-economic development.

The revised draft law comprises 22 Clauses grouping 5 chapters including common regulations; tax calculation basis and time, and tariff; anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguard duties; tax exemption and reduction, and refund; and execution clauses.

According to the Finance Minister, one of the main revised contents of the draft law is the encouragement and protection of domestic production and trading in accordance with development orientations of Viet Nam's international commitments.

The draft law also upgrades and supplements some regulations on anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguard taxes to protect local production from the negative impacts of integration.

Chapter 3 adds provisions on conditions, principles, jurisdiction and time limits to apply the above duties on the basis of inheriting regulations in three current ordinances.

Clause 15 says that in case Viet Nam's benefits in international treaties are compromised, the Government will ask the National Assembly to apply other suitable safeguard tax measures.

This aims to ensure a legal basis to apply new tax measures in a changing market.

Promulgation of tariff and duty rates will come within the jurisdiction of the NA Standing Committee who will issue minimum tax rates for each group of dutiable commodities in the export tariff, mainly natural resources and minerals, and empower the Prime Minister to decide specific rates, according to Clause 10.

After verifying the draft law, chairman of the NA Finance and Budget Committee Phung Quoc Hien said that the revision of export import tariff law aimed to meet requirements of internationally economic integration and suit free trade agreements that Viet Nam have signed. It is expected that trade liberalisation will abolish 97-98 tariff lines within the next decade.

The committee proposed the Government estimate impacts from revising the law on the State budget's revenue.

Most members of the Committee agreed with the regulations in Clause 10. However, they proposed the Government clarify which body will decide the remaining tax fees on imported goods that are not part of Viet Nam's FTAs.

Some members proposed that the draft law should make clear the list of commodities and the tariffs of export and import items that Viet Nam has yet to sign in agreements with other nations and international organisations.

The National Assembly should assign the Standing Committee to decide which goods need regular tariff changes.

Also in the morning, deputies agreed on the need to revise and supplement some clauses to the law on accounting to ensure the stability and consistency of the law.

Discussing the regulation on financial paper and bookkeeping in clause 17 of the draft law on revised law on accounting, deputy Do Van Ve of Thai Binh said financial papers (including receipts) were often inspected and audited by authorised bodies. He noted that many online transactions made by businesses needed to be transferred to paper so authorities can inspect them, which is cumbersome and wastes time.

Ve proposed that authorised agencies use advanced equipment to check online transactions instead of requiring paper.

Deputies also discussed the contents of accounting standards, ethics for professional accountants and accounting regulations.

No subordinates

In the afternoon, the National Assembly (NA) continued with discussions on the draft Law on Supervisory Activities of the National Assembly and People's Councils.

The basic content of the draft received approval from most deputies, while opinions were focused on several specific stipulations.

Many deputies approved the draft regulations on holding question-and-answer sessions at meetings of the NA, the NA Standing Committee, the People's Councils and the permanent People's Councils.

However, some called for stipulations that officials subject to written questions must make their reply in person at Q&A sessions.

They said that heads of sectors should not be allowed to grant authority to their subordinates to answer at question-and-answer (Q&A) sessions if they are attending the session.

The head of the NA deputy delegation from the central city of Da Nang, Huynh Nghia, claimed that at many Q&A sessions where NA deputies can make questions to the Prime Minister or the Chairmen of people's councils, in fact the ones who took the floor to give answers turned out to be leaders' deputies since there had been no law regarding this.

"When NA deputies raise questions to an official, we expect that official to answer us, not their subordinates. We ask on behalf of voters and the voters always want their issues and concerns to be answered by a real name to find out the best solutions," he said.

While commending the live broadcast of Q&A sessions at NA meetings, which showed the timeliness and transparency of the dialogues, Nghia said that the Q&A sessions at people's council meetings had just been broadcast live only in some localities.

He urged for a synchronised live broadcast everywhere to help all the people follow and supervise.

Sharing Nghia's proposal, Nguyen Ba Thuyen, deputy head of the NA deputy delegation from HCM City, said that it was unreasonable when the heads of departments grant authority to their subordinates to answer on their behalf at Q&A sessions.

"There can be some exceptions for this such as overseas business trips, sickness or being unable to attend the meetings when the heads can grant authority to their subordinates," he said.

Following the schedule, the NA will today discuss in groups the implementation of the socio-economic development plan and the State budget for 2015 and the socio-economic development plan and budget estimates for 2016.

They are also due to review the outcomes of national target programmes for 2011 to 2015, propose investment directions for such programmes in the 2016 to 2020 period, and consider solutions to the use of remaining government bonds on upgrading the National Highway 1A and the Ho Chi Minh Highway through the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands). — VNS

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