|Raising sheep has proved successful in helping reduce poverty in poor regions. National Assembly deputies met yesterday to review the State budget and make recommendations about how it could be spent as efficiently as possible. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Thuy
HA NOI (VNS) — National Assembly (NA) deputies yesterday morning discussed the use of the State budget in 2013 and plans for budget allocation in 2014.
They also reviewed the 2011-15 National Target Programme, and Government bond issuance plans for the 2014-16 period.
Most deputies agreed with the Government report on the use of the 2013 State budget. They said despite encouraging results, there remained shortcomings such as huge administrative expenses, scattered development investment and loose financial management.
Regarding the 2014 budget estimates, lawmakers suggested providing specific figures on budget collection and spending.
The allocation of the budget must be based on the term's socio-economic objectives, they said, emphasising the need to recalculate the budget allocation for social programmes such as education, science and technology, environmental protection and healthcare.
The deputies also voiced their concerns about wastefulness in the science and technology sector, and stressed the need to review the effectiveness of investment in the area.
Acknowledging huge administrative expenses, legislators said the budget for administrative procedures should be reduced in all areas.
Cuts should be made in several ineffective national target programmes, and the focus should be turned to building new rural areas, clean water and healthcare, they said.
The deputies also agreed with the issuance of Government bonds for development investment in the 2014-16 period, noting that the capital raised must be invested in projects that had practical benefits.
They concurred with the proposed issuance of additional Government bonds worth VND170 trillion (US$8.1 billion). They also stressed the need to build policies and institutions, consolidate apparatus, train high-quality human resources and invest in hi-tech industries.
They also emphasised the need to accelerate the promulgation of the Law on Public Investment and a NA resolution on overseas public investment activities.
As scheduled, the above-mentioned issues will continue to be discussed at the plenary session on November 2.
Homeowners should take responsibility for preparing firefighting equipment to use in the event of a fire, many lawmakers said, adding this should be a regulation.
They were discussing amendments and supplements to a number of articles in the Law on Fire Prevention and Fighting as the NA session continued .
However, deputy Nguyen Van Minh from the northern province of Bac Kan said the regulation was sound in principle, but lacked feasibility.
Minh wanted to clarify what equipment would be necessary, adding that not every family would be able to afford them.
Deputy Nguyen Anh Son from the northern province of Nam Dinh said the regulation needed careful consideration to ensure it was effectively implemented.
Deputy Nguyen Manh Cuong from the southernmost province of Ca Mau pointed out that many people did not know the emergency number to call when accidents occurred.
Each emergency service had its own number, but not everybody knew which one to call, said Cuong, emphasising the need to establish an office with a hotline that was ready to support every call.
This office would be in charge of informing the relevant units about the problem, and the number should be easy to remember and the same across the country.
Many deputies said that the draft regulation on regular support for night-watch forces was unfeasible because it would further burden the State budget. They proposed offering support to people who tackled fires on the spot.
With regards to commercial fire safety regulations, deputy Cuong said it was a complicated issue, and many businesses would have to close if they punished all violations to the letter of the law.
Deputies agreed to pass the issue to the Government to solve because it was related to the interests of business owners.
If this issue was given to localities, it should be entrusted to People's Councils rather than People's Committees, said Cuong.
Deputies also discussed about fire safety in tall buildings, waterworks, underground projects, mining, supermarkets and storage facilities. — VNS