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Expert forums to debate key issues

Update: April, 20/2015 - 09:25
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (second from rịght) meets with scientists and experts in Ha Noi. — Photo VGP

HA NOI ()VNS — The Government announced on Saturday that it will establish forums where scientists and experts in various fields will debate the country's socio-economic development policies and projects.

Decision 501, posted on the Government website, said the forums would operate on the basis of honesty, neutrality, non-profitability and humanitarian principles to challenge and identify shortcomings in the country's policies.

Initially operating on a trial basis, the forums are expected to contribute to national development, uphold national interests as well as existing laws and regulations, thus fostering democracy, equality, transparency and openness.

The country's intellectuals, overseas Vietnamese included, will be encouraged to not only voice their opinions independently and professionally, but also monitor implementation of policies and projects with the proviso that information concerning national interest and security would be protected.

The Viet Nam Union of Science and Technology Associations, the Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences and the Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology will establish and operate the forums over the next five years.

The Government has ordered the Ministry of Science and Technology The Deputy PM's inspection found that many parts of the rivers were nearly dry.

To deal with this situation, Ha Noi authorities have proposed the setting up of a system to take water from the Tich River to the Day River.

The Government report cited experts as saying this measure would have the advantage of replenishing waters in both Tich and Day Rivers. Taking 20cu.m per second of water from the the Tich River, which is already taking water from the Da River, will not affect the former's flow, the report said.

It also cited the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as saying that in the 2015-2020 period, experts would define project areas, the Day River would be dredged and dike systems on both Day and Tich rivers would be upgraded.

It said experts are also looking for measures to shore up declining water levels in lowland areas of the Hong (Red) River.

Ha Noi authorities have also proposed other projects costing thousands of billions of dong to upgrade irrigation systems and pumping stations, the report said.

No river or lake in Ha Noi can meet the standards set to be classified as a 1st-class body of water (unpolluted or slightly polluted), according to the Institute for Environmental Science and Development (VESDEC). The rivers and lakes in Ha Noi everyday receive millions of cubic meters of industrial, domestic wastewater along with wastewater from rice fields and aquaculture. Of this, the domestic wastewater in the city is expected to reach 440,000 cubic meter per day by 2020.

Deputy PM Hai said the Government would soon come up with detailed measures to ensure adequate water in all systems. — VNS

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