Đặng Huy Đông, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, tells Thời báo Kinh tế Việt Nam (Việt Nam Economic Times) that the Planning Law will boost growth and be welcomed by enterprises.
As one of the drafters of the Law on Planning from the very beginning, tell us what you felt when it was passed by the National Assembly with 88.19 per cent of the vote?
All members of the drafting committee, including me, were very happy about the result. It was a very difficult, demanding task, given the different perspectives and views involved. To have it passed with almost 90 per cent of the vote is a heartening result.
The good news is that the Law on Planning takes our legal framework for all economic activities further towards completion. It is a positive signal for the Vietnamese economy and I’m pretty sure that it is highly welcomed by the enterprises community.
What are the impacts that you expect the law to have on the national economy?
The law will put a full stop to the overlapping of and even conflicts between different planning documents on the same land, on the same area or space. It is indisputable that the law will benefit the national economy.
By requiring all stakeholders to discuss project formulation and implementation to sit together, for instance, the problems of overlooking crucial aspects can be avoided.
A notable example to demonstrate this is the plan to develop the Sơn Trà Archipelago in Đà Nẵng City. It looked to exploit the area’s tourism potential and paid heed to investors and market demand, but a very important factor, conserving nature, was forgotten.
Another case is a project in the south central province of Bình Thuận. For the same piece of land, licenses were granted to two different projects – one for tourism and another for titanium mining. I’m pretty sure that after the new Law on Planning takes effect on Jan.1, 2019, such problems will not happen.
One more case I would like to share with you is that of a bridge, a Transport Ministry project. Just as construction was about the start, the irrigation sector lodged a complaint saying the bridge would obstruct the river’s flow. It took the project investor almost a year to adjust the bridge’s drawings.
So, I’m confident when this law comes into force it will benefit all parties concerned.
Can you say something about some of the salient features of the law that facilitated its approval?
There are not many changes in the approved law compared with the previous version. The soul of the law remains the same, i.e., its legal corridor and unification of the national planning system. The law states clearly what has to be planned, and what cannot be planned. It lays out the planning procedures that have to be followed. So it upholds the principles of transparency and accountability. — VNS