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Lawmakers discuss use of tobacco

Update: March, 22/2012 - 09:41

HA NOI — The National Assembly‘s Standing Committee yesterday agreed to establish a fund for the prevention of tobacco use.

Deputies said that the fund would be managed by the Ministry of Health and supported by relevant ministries and organisations. It should be a non-profit fund supported by the State Budget and taxes collected from tobacco producers and cigarette sellers and consumers.

NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said that a special consumption tax should be put in place to finance the fund.

Chairman of the NA Law Committee Phan Trung Ly said that fund money should be collected directly from cigarette production companies and smokers with an aim to limit smoking.

The NA Committee for Social Issues said that the promulgation of the law would send a clear message to society about the dangers of tobacco. It would also introduce measures for protecting people's health, including a ban on public smoking. The law also prohibits selling cigarettes to children under the age of 18.

The committee will complete the draft in order to submit it to the National Assembly for discussion and approval at the next meeting.

When discussing the draft law on money laundering prevention, many deputies agreed that the national centre for money laundering information should be managed by the State Bank.

Some held the opposite view, saying that the responsibility should rest with the Ministry of Public Security.

Deputy Minister of Public Security Pham Quy Ngo said that money laundering activities were very sophisticated and can take many forms in sectors such as tourism, hotels and trade. He noted that the banking sector would not be able to control or discover money laundering schemes outside of its purview.

Director of the Institute for Legislative Research Dinh Xuan Thao said that 300 cases of money laundering were reported but no case has been solved by the State Bank's Money Laundering Department over the past six years.

While debating the draft law on deposit insurance, deputies agreed that the law only protect individual deposits in Vietnam dong and does not apply to foreign currencies or precious metals. — VNS

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