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Deputies suggest land retrieval amendments

Update: October, 24/2013 - 09:24
In the Ha Noi group, Deputy Le Dinh Quyen suggested changing the terms of ‘local government' into a ‘People's Committee and People's Council organised into administrative units'.—VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — The organising of local government and land retrievals were among a range of issues discussed by lawmakers yesterday on the third day of the ongoing sixth session of the 13th National Assembly.

At the meeting, which aimed to discuss the draft amendments to the 1992 Constitution and the draft resolution on the implementation of the 1992 Constitution, deputies agreed that it was necessary to renew the organisation of local government to formalise Party resolutions and support development.

HCM City Deputy Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, said the concept of local government and its missions were not quite clear in the draft version.

"I think the reason is because we lack of experience in reality," she said, urging for research on an applicable model so that the amendments could be approved during this NA session.

Agreeing with Tam, another deputy from HCM City, Tran Du Lich said that the Constitution needed to be clear on which localities should re-organise local government and which localities were just in need of administrative committees.

"One principle of local government is that the government itself has to take responsibility within its decentralised area, but this is not being reflected clearly in the draft Constitution," he said.

In the Ha Noi group, Deputy Le Dinh Quyen suggested changing the terms of ‘local government' into a ‘People's Committee and People's Council organised into administrative units'.

Deputy Bui Thi An said local government and urban administrations needed to be piloted first.

"The best sample of the pilot should be selected for implementation," she said.

The proposal received strong backing from deputies agreeing to a supplement of regulations on the Central Election Council.

The group also reached a consensus that it reflected the ownership rights of the people and created a legal foundation for people to exercise their rights.

On land retrievals, deputy Le Trong Sang from HCM City said that it was the issue constituents were most concerned about, accounting for 70-80 per cent of all denunciations and complaints.

Sang suggested more time be needed to implement the Land Law, which is currently still under discussion at the National Assembly, before final approval and the enshrine of the change in the constitution.

"If we have to constitutionalise the issue right now, I suggest the amendment of stating that the Government retrieves the land in necessary cases. The other cases will be regulated by the Land Law," he said.

Truong Trong Nghia from HCM City said that it was necessary to state clearly that the land retrieval was in the best interests of the nation and the public.

Agreeing with Nghia, Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam from HCM City said that concern among citizens in relation to land issues were stemmed from unclear planning and usage of the land, adding that the Constitution needed to ensure transparency.

"I totally agree with the draft amendments of the 1992 Constitution. However, we need to understand that the people are not objecting the Government's land retrieval. They are concerned about their rights and interests, which are being infringed, because of the inappropriate compensation," she said, urging for a market-based compensation mechanism.

Tam also said there were disparities in land valuations that highlighted inconsistencies in the current mechanism, where similar land lots had received different compensation prices due to different reasons for land retrievals.

"That is the cause of the inequality and divergence," she added.

Opinions from most of the groups appeared to back the draft amendments, with Nguyen Dinh Quyen from Ha Noi saying the amendments had demonstrated a cohesive political system and transparent mechanism of government with a distinct separation of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

The amendments aim to ensure the rights of citizens and demystify the Government's responsibilities,, he said. — VNS

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