|Deputy Chairwoman of Viet Nam's National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan. — Photo tuoitre.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — The 2013 Constitution breaks new ground in several aspects while stressing that economic growth should be combined with social progress, equity and environmental protection, a leading legislator says.
Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly, said the 2013 Constitution's provisions on economic, cultural, educational, scientific, technological and environmental sectors are "new steps that will fuel comprehensive renewal, intensive and extensive international integration and sustainable development."
Ngan, a Politburo member, said the 2013 Constitution, based on amendments made to the 1992 charter, reflects new thinking about economic sectors.
She said economic sectors were no longer detailed in the Constitution but specified in other legal documents.
The new Constitution distinguishes between the State economy and State enterprises, stressing the former, not the latter, plays the leading role, she said.
She noted it was the first time that the position and role of entrepreneurs and enterprises have been acknowledged in the Constitution.
It says the State shall develop and improve economic institutions, regulate the economy based on market dynamics, decentralise State management functions and promote regional economic links while ensuring national unity.
The charter mandates that the State represents owners and uniformly manages natural resources such that they are used for the sake of all citizens, Ngan said.
The 2013 Constitution also enshrines the legal right to private ownership and the right of inheritance, she added.
She further explained that legal property of individuals and organisations engaged in investment, production or business activities is protected by law and not subject to nationalisation.
The Constitution states that land, water resources, mineral resources, resources in the sea and airspace, other natural resources including property managed or invested in by the State are public property, owned by all the people, and these are to be uniformly managed by the State.
It affirms the principle of eminent domain, saying land is a special, important resource for national development that is owned by all the people, and as such, the State can reclaim it in cases of extreme necessity for national defense or security purposes; or for socio-economic development that is in national or public interest.
It also says that land expropriation must be made public and transparent, and compensation paid in accordance with the law.
The State may also requisition land in cases of extreme necessity prescribed by a law to perform tasks related to national defense and security; or during a state of war or a state of emergency; or in response to natural disasters.
Ngan said the revised charter supplements several articles on State budget, national reserves, State financial funds and other public financial resources, mandating that these are uniformly managed by the State and used in an efficient, fair, public, transparent and lawful manner.
Rights and responsibilities
The 2013 Constitution states that citizens have the right to work and to choose their occupation, employment and workplaces.
It also prescribes that every citizen has the right to health protection and care and to equality in the use of medical services.
Every citizen also has the obligation to comply with regulations on prevention of diseases, medical examination and treatment.
The Constitution states that the State shall create equal opportunities for citizens to enjoy social welfare, develop the social security system, and adopt policies to support the elderly, people with disabilities, poor people, and people suffering other disadvantages.
Every citizen has the right to enjoy and access cultural products, participate in cultural activities, and use cultural facilities.
It says the State and society shall work for the development of an "advanced culture" that is deeply imbued with national identity and humanitarian values.
The charter mentions that education is a top national priority, and that all citizens have the right, as well as the obligation, to acquire formal learning.
Every citizen also has the right to conduct scientific or technological research, or engage in literary or artistic creation, and to enjoy the benefits brought about by these activities.
The Constitution also accords top priority to scientific and technological development, saying it key to furthering socio-economic development.
The national charter affirms that every citizen has the right to live in a clean environment and has the obligation to protect the environment.
It says the State shall adopt policies to protect the environment, manage and use natural resources in an efficient and sustainable manner, conserve nature and biodiversity, and take the initiative in preventing and controlling natural disasters and responding to climate change.
The NA Vice Chairwoman said the constitutional provisions mirror the Party and State's viewpoints and policies as well as people's aspirations for the country.
The charter provides political and legal safeguards that the country needs for its socio-economic development in the "new period," she added. — VNS