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Make e-visa rules more selective, say NA deputies

Update: November, 19/2016 - 11:16
National Assembly deputies yesterday agreed on a pilot project to issue e-visas to foreigners but wanted it to be more selective and not rushed into implementation. — Photo diadiemdulich.com

HÀ NỘI — National Assembly deputies yesterday agreed on a pilot project to issue e-visas to foreigners but wanted it to be more selective and not rushed into implementation.

Under a Government resolution, the e-visa project will be piloted for two years, starting January 1, 2017. The visa will be valid once for a period of less than 30 days.

Deputy Hồ Văn Thái of Kiên Giang Province said that the pilot project would serve the country’s political, economic and external relations objectives. It is in line with the national cause of international integration cause and would create favourable conditions for attracting investors and visitors, he said.

However, he added, the pilot project should not apply to all foreigners.

“Such a vast inclusion would create loopholes for unwanted visitors and cause difficulties for local authorities, especially when there are so many complications going on in the region and the world at the moment,” Thái said.

Deputy Nguyễn Mai Bộ of An Giang Province observed that in many other countries like India, Cambodia and South Korea, e-visas are only issued to tourists, foreign scientists or those coming to work in the host country.

Bộ felt that e-visas should be granted initially only to tourists and investors who want to come to Việt Nam to study the market, or citizens of countries that are signatories to relevant diplomatic conventions.

Many deputies also felt that it would be too hasty for the project to start on January 1 next year, less than two months from now.

Deputy Nguyễn Lâm Thành of Lạng Sơn Province said since the issue involves many aspects of national security, it should not be implemented in such a hurry.

In agreement with Thanh, Deputy Bùi Đức Hạnh of  Thừa Thiên – Huế Province said only 36 of Việt Nam’s 61 international border gates and ports could be electronically connected. He said the country would need to provide more training and prepare better for the pilot project.

Rail rules disappoint

Many deputy expressed their disappointment yesterday at the amendments made to the Railway Law.

Deputy Nguyễn Phương Tuấn of Ninh Bình Province said the proposed changes were of low quality and feasibility.

“This is due to the abolition of some detailed provisions of the old law (the 2005 law), and because many provisions of the law have been assigned to relevant ministries to decide by issuing resolutions or circulars. Thus, many regulations in the amended law do not carry much content anymore,” Tuấn said.

He noted that in the 2005 Law, there were 18 articles that needed instructions issued by the Government or relevant ministries via specific resolutions or circulars, but in the draft amended Law, there are 37 such articles.

Deputy Nguyễn Phi Thường of Hà Nội said the railways account for just one per cent of the transportation volume, while the road sector shoulders 65 per cent, causing overloading.

Thường said this imbalance occurred because not enough attention had been paid to the railway sector, and it had suffered from unclear development orientations. — VNS

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