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VN’s development locomotive

Update: October, 20/2016 - 10:31
Trần Anh Tuấn

Trần Anh Tuấn, acting director of the Hồ Chí Minh Institute for Development Studies speaks to the newspaper Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) on the importance of putting the people in the centre of designing new policy.

According to the agenda for the upcoming National Assembly’s full house meeting, lawmakers will discuss and approve four laws and give their comments or suggestions on 12 bills. Don’t you think that the workload is too heavy for a month sitting?

I cannot agree more. The agenda for the second full house meeting of the 14th National Assembly (NA) is packed. One of the objectives of the meeting is how to help the Government achieve its goal of becoming a Government of constructivism through high quality legal documents.

Two months ago, the NA started to gather comments from Government agencies, mass organisations, concerned agencies and the general public on how to revise the four laws and 12 bills. The focus is on how to make the laws serve the people, particularly enterprises better. This is the key message of building a constructive Government.

During the law making process of previous legislatures, there was a tendency for lawmakers who represented certain agencies to have a tendency to be in favour of the fields that they were specialised in. Do you have any comments on this?

Yes! During debates, there were heated discussions between the pros and cons among both specialised and non-specialised lawmakers on the topics under discussion. I totally objected to such types of discussions by scientists or experts. I think that they should behave more properly for the common interest. One of the objectives of the discussion is to make laws that provide a favourable environment for both enterprises and the people, not only for management agencies.

At present, the percentage of full time deputies among NA delegates is not that high, with quite a few of them playing two roles, for instance being an NA deputy and cabinet member, or local government leader. In these circumstances, what should we do to prevent unwanted debates during the law making process?

In my opinion, during debates or discussion, lawmakers should put the interest of the nation above all. We all understand that not all rules or regulations can fit everyone. The interest of the nation must always be upheld, and this is a principle that all deputies have to observe. In other words, we all want to have a good Government, a Government of the people and of enterprises.

But in Việt Nam, the law making process has not provided many opportunities for lawmakers to participate in, right from the beginning of the process. What are your thoughts on this?

Whether we have a Government of constructivism or not depends on our policies. The process of developing a law in Việt Nam is somehow different from other countries. To compile a new law, a ministry or sector is assigned to draft the law. The responsibility of the NA deputies is to give their comments or suggestions to the draft document when it is presented to the NA Commissions. In my opinion, this procedure must be changed. Full time deputies should get involved right from the beginning of the law compilation process. I think it is a way to ensure the objectivity of the law and to avoid unwanted debates when the bill is presented to the full house meeting.

In your capacity as a deputy of HCM City and head of the City’s Institute for Development Study, what can you do to curtail such a “nuisance” debate?

As for the upcoming National Assembly meeting scheduled for Thursday, the deputies will spend some time to discuss new rules to create favourable conditions for development. No doubt, the discussion will encroach on the rights and interests of certain ministries or sectors that some delegates come from.

Of course, the National Assembly will have to arrange time to settle these “obstacles”. However, I am confident that if all the deputies share the same objective – to help the Government perform its job better for the people and the nation – this will be achieved.  — VNS

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