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NA deputies debate merits of lump-sum insurance law

Update: May, 28/2015 - 10:00
Deputy Le Thi Yen from Phu Tho Province debates about the Article 60 of the 2014 Law on Social Insurance during the ninth session of the 13rd National Assembly. — VNA/VNS Photo An Dang

HA NOI (VNS) — National Assembly deputies spent most of their time yesterday debating Article 60 of the 2014 Law on Social Insurance during the ninth session of the 13rd National Assembly. It involves regulations on a one-off lump-sum social insurance payment.

It was the first discussion since a Government report on the Article was presented to the NA last Thursday and later discussed in small groups of deputies.

According to the article, employees eligible to receive a lump-sum social insurance allowance when they resign from work are limited. This means only a limited number of people are entitled to payments, while other employees must wait until they reach retirement age to receive a lump sum. In Viet Nam, the retirement age is 60 for men and 55 for women.

The majority of deputies agreed with the content of the law, which revised the 2006 Law on Social Insurance and will take effect on January 1, 2016. However, deputies believe the National Assembly should take into consideration, amend or issue a resolution on Article 60 to allow labourers to enjoy a one-off lump sump or reserve it.

Deputy Le Thi Yen from Phu Tho Province said social insurance was the backbone of social security policy, caring for labourers and contributing to stabilising national order and security.

She said the promulgation of the 2014 Law on Insurance had resolved shortcomings seen in the 2006 Law on Social Insurance and had satisfied the people's rights to participate in social insurance.

She added that the move was in line with Party and State directions to expand the number of people eligible for social insurance, and to better care for labourers when they get old.

The deputy proposed the NA issue a resolution to prolong the enforcement of Item C, Clause 1, Article 55 of the 2006 Law on Social Insurance regarding the enjoyment of a one-off lump sum.

Agreeing with Yen, deputy Nguyen Van Son from Ha Tinh Province said in the short term, the NA should issue a resolution during this session.

Chairwoman of the HCM City's People's Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam said during her meetings with people ahead of the sitting session, labourers said they did see much progress in ensuring their rights.

Tam said that according to labourers, in many occupations requiring heavy work, those over 40 years old were often faced with the danger of a labour contract terminating or being sacked because of ill health.

"In addition, most employees [in these areas] come from rural areas, they rely on low pay to cover accommodation, raising children and paying for food, water and electricity. What they can save from monthly salary is modest, so they also want to receive the lump sum," said Tam.

On the other hand, the deputy said, labourers could encounter mishaps anytime, so they would like to choose an option that benefited them most.

Deputy Tam recommended the NA consider amending Article 60 by supplementing a clause enabling labourers to choose either to reserve their social insurance or to get a one-off lump sump to pay for their daily needs.

Highlighting the necessity to modify Article 60, Chairman of Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour, Dang Ngoc Tung asked the NA to promulgate a resolution so labourers could either get a one-off lump sum or reserve their social insurance.

Tung also called for amendments to some sections to avoid discriminating between employees in State-owned and private enterprises.

"If two university graduates work for 30 years and then retire, the one who works in the State sector would enjoy a retirement pension twice as what the one who works in the private sector. This is a disparity that needs to be taken into consideration and amended in the Labour on Social Insurance," Tung said.

Updating regulations

Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang. — VNA/VNS Photo An Dang

n a report on the proposed law to update criminal investigatory regulations, presented to the NA yesterday, Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang stressed the importance of building a comprehensive and well-enumerated law that clarifies the legal grounds upon which criminal investigations are undertaken.

The last decade implementing the 2004 Ordinance on Criminal Investigation revealed that its general regulations are not enough, they require numerous follow-up document guidelines, Quang said.

The proposed law, he said, still leaves a lot to be explained.

"A number of regulations governing investigation competence; co-ordination in investigations; the relationship between investigation agencies and procurators; and regulations on investigators are still not specific enough," the minister said.

"The lack of regulations on how criminal investigations are to be managed has resulted in individual ministries and sectors issuing their own guidelines and policies for the investigation profession; assigning and dismissing investigators in investigation bodies under their management. Therefore, criminal investigation practices are normally inconsistent," he explained.

According to the report, since the 2004 issuance of the investigatory ordinance, investigation bodies have received and resolved nearly 846,000 reports of criminal offences and proposed prosecution of 733,339 cases involving more than 1.15 million offenders.

Of note, investigators at district-level police agencies have settled over 88 per cent of criminal cases nation-wide, thereby allowing investigative bodies at higher levels to focus on offences of greater severity and complexity.

In a report to verify the proposed investigation law, also presented to the NA yesterday, NA Justice Committee Chairman Nguyen Van Hien said there is still some disagreement as to the rights communal police should have in investigating offences and gathering statements.

Several NA representatives and ministers vocalised their agreement with the stipulation that since commune, ward and township police are usually the first agencies to receive reports of criminal activity they should be responsible for gathering and forwarding initial statements to specialised investigative bodies, Hien said.

Others disagreed, stating that commune-level police are semi-professional forces with limited qualifications. If they are assigned the job of carrying out the initial investigation, their capacity might not be up to par. This, opponents argued, could lead to inaccuracies and difficulties for those in charge of further investigation, or lead to wrongful convictions.

Today, the NA will hear reports on the Law on Referendum, the draft Law on Sea and Island Natural Resources and Environment, and on the appointment of Supreme People's Court judges. — VNS

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