|An overview of the symposium. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn|
HÀ NỘI — The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on Tuesday discussed the amended Law on Cooperatives while continuing its legal symposium.
The symposium was conducted under the direction of NA Deputy Chairman Nguyễn Đức Hải.
In his presentation at the conference, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng said that amending and supplementing the Law on Cooperatives aimed to create a favourable legal system for cooperative economic development.
The draft amended law consists of 12 chapters and 117 articles compared to the 2012 Law on Cooperatives which had nine chapters and 64 articles.
The draft law closely follows five groups of policies in the proposal to develop the amended Law on Cooperatives approved by the NA.
It expands the groups of people participating in cooperatives, including individuals aged 15 years and over, associate members contribute capital and associate members do not contribute capital.
The age lowering is aimed at increasing member participation in cooperatives and cooperative groups.
The draft law adds one chapter on auditing and stipulates the frequency and scope of independent audits and internal audits.
It cuts down on some administrative procedures such as removing requirements for business and production plans and granting seals.
It allows using personal identification numbers when registering business certificates and adds methods of registration via postal services and electronic information networks.
The draft law adds one chapter on development policy for cooperatives.
Keeping the law’s name
The Government asked the NA about the name of the amended law with two options, the Law on Cooperative Economic Organisations or the amended Law on Cooperatives.
Chairman of the NA's Committee for Economic Affairs Vũ Hồng Thanh replied that the committee proposed to keep the name 'Law on Cooperatives' as mentioned in the law and ordinance development programme this year.
The option identifies the core role of cooperatives and avoids changing the name leading to more costs and other consequences related to law education.
The Committee for Economic Affairs suggested continuing to review, study and fully propose differences between this law and other related laws, serving as a basis for the NA to consider and decide specific content for cooperatives specified in the draft law.
It also serves the amendments and supplements to relevant laws to ensure the synchronism of the legal system.
The committee found that regulations on cooperation groups were still quite vague and not enough content for the NA to consider and decide.
It proposed to supplement and clarify conditions for converting a cooperative group into a cooperative, such as conditions on the number of members, financial resources, assets and operation scale.
It suggested adding conditions for joining and withdrawing from cooperation contracts between members of the cooperative groups, and group registration to serve statistical work and management for cooperative groups.
Regarding the Cooperative Development Assistance Fund, the committee emphasised the need to clarify the source of funding, operation and which agency will be responsible for managing the fund at the central level and at the provincial level.
The work aims to ensure the fund’s effectiveness in supporting cooperatives to access capital, especially capital for scientific and technological development.
In addition, it is necessary to clarify the roles and functions of the fund to avoid overlapping with the roles and functions of the Cooperative Bank and the People's Credit Fund.
The committee also suggested continuing to review regulations on conditions for becoming an official member of a cooperative, a member of a cooperative group to make it suitable with the Labour Code and other concerned laws and international commitments to foreign individuals. — VNS