Friday, June 23 2017

VietNamNews

Planning Law should prevent policy overlaps

Update: January, 25/2017 - 10:15
Senior Construction Ministry officials have expressed worries that the new Law on Planning could affect 2,000 major construction plans of different provinces and different regions. — Photo baodauthau.vn

HÀ NỘI – Senior Construction Ministry officials have expressed worries that the new Law on Planning could affect 2,000 major construction plans of different provinces and different regions.

It might also affect 10,000 construction plans in different communes.

Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyễn Đình Toàn said that the committee drafting the law should reconsider the draft provision that localities must use their own budgets in drawing up construction plans, because many of them lacked the funds needed.

"The Ministry’s experience in formulating construction plans shows that funds from international organisations and enterprises can be used effectively," he said.

Likewise, officials of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment were worried that the Planning Law would affect several of their works, including those involving sea territories.

While different ministries and sectors expressed concerns and disagreement with some provisions and implications of the law, several experts stressed the need for a synchronous, environmentally friendly planning.

They said this was crucial if Việt Nam is to cope with climate change, flooding, pollution and traffic jams, especially in urban areas.

Addressing this problem, Planning and Investment Minister Nguyễn Chí Dũng said it was likely that some changes that matched new trends and could resolve long-standing problems could affect some organisations and individuals.

"When the law is submitted to the NA, opinions from ministries and sectors will be used for reference, but they will not be officially binding," he said.

Chairman of the Việt Nam Federation of Civil Engineering Association Trần Ngọc Hùng said that ministries did not agree with the synchronous construction plan because they were afraid that the new law would affect their present plans, and they did not understand every regulation and clause in the law.

In fact, a synchronous plan was needed for the country, he said.

“Every developed country takes national and territorial plans as the premise for all projects and works, and this has been done for a long time,” he said.

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân has said that the new Law on Planning must ensure that policy overlap and infrastructure redundancy is avoided.

Addressing a recent meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee that discussed the law, she said it should prevent overlapping and wastage caused by localities and sectors making plans without consulting or co-operating with each other.

It should also ensure that the situation of every locality planning to build an airport and/or seaport does not arise anymore.

Indispensable plan

Many experts confirmed the need to compile and promulgate the law, saying planning was indispensable for achieving sustainable development targets.

Since Viet Nam does not have a Law on Planning, there was a lot of overlap and wastage that the nation cannot afford, they said.

Professor Đặng Hùng Võ, former deputy minister of  Natural Resources and Environment said, “We need to change our ways of working and renew our thinking. Renewing is difficult, but if we’re afraid of the difficulties and do not change, everything will become sluggish.”

For instance, an enterprise would find a need to set up a salient space in the centre of an urban area and submit a plan to the Government. After receiving approval, the enterprise could change the plan on its own without getting prior legal approval.

“So it is indispensable that we have a law to supervise plans,” he said.

Phạm Sỹ Liêm, deputy chairman of the Việt Nam Federation of Civil Engineering, the main task of the new law should be the establishment of a national planning system.

The whole point of the draft law was to foster a synchronous plan for the whole country, he said.

This is urgent work, especially in a proactively developing country. If the draft Law on Planning was approved, socio-economic plans and land use plans would be synchronized, he said. The law would provide the framework against which other plans can be adjusted.

Thus, regional plans could have more details, but could not contravene the national plan, and provincial plans cannot do the same with regional plans.

“An immutable principle is that lower-level plans cannot be out of sync with higher-level plans,” said Liêm. – VNS 

 

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