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NA deputies discuss law on irrigation

Update: September, 12/2016 - 19:25
An irrigation work is under construction by workers of the Nghệ An Construction Investment and Commerce Joint Stock Company. - Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Regulations on investment, management and exploitation of irrigation works are high on the agenda of the 14th National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee’s third session on Monday.

A discussion on draft amendments to the Law on Irrigation will take place on the first working day of the session.

Several deputies agreed that irrigation works played a very important role in agricultural production, providing water for the daily activities of the locals and to other economic sectors, along with being a key measure for disaster prevention and control work and contributing to sustainable socio-economic development. They, therefore, called for better management and exploitation of irrigation works.

NA Vice Chairman Đỗ Bá Tỵ said one key new point of the draft law was to socialise investment and management of irrigation works, aimed at mobilising the whole society for investment and management of irrigation works, contributing to improving the quality of irrigation works, particularly small ones.

However, it was essential to make clear policies encouraging investment in irrigation works and responsibilities of relevant ministries and agencies in managing, exploiting and operating these irrigation works, he said.

Chairman of the NA Committee for Finance and Budget Nguyễn Đức Hải said priority should be giving to ensuring the safety of irrigation works and the law should have specific regulations on this issue.

He also pointed to the need to draft regulations on using water economically in the context of climate change, sea water levels rising and the shortage of water.

Some deputies proposed that the law should clarify the relation between irrigation works and hydropower projects, following the discharge of water in large quantities by some hydropower projects, which had resulted in loss of property and lives in downstream areas.

The discussion also focused on the law’s new regulation on the price of irrigation services, which will replace the existing irrigation fees to make it fall in line with the current Law on Price.

Concluding the discussion, NA Vice Chairman Phùng Quốc Hiển said the NA Standing Committee agreed with the draft law on irrigation and proposed that the government and the compiling board continue reviewing policies and guidelines of the Party and State and evaluating related laws to ensure the unity of the law system.

The committee asked the compiling board to supplement, amend and clarify management, investment and planning of irrigation works to ensure safety and efficiency, he said.

With regard to the irrigation service price, instead of the current irrigation fee, he asked the compiling board to clearly assess all sides and carefully review the regulation on setting prices for irrigation services because the prices would affect 80 per cent of farming households using irrigation works for agricultural production. Hiển also pointed to the need to prepare a roadmap to apply irrigation services price.

The compiling board also needed to clarify issues concerning the relations between irrigation works and hydropower plants and the state’s management responsibilities related to the relevant ministries, agencies, localities, organisations and individuals, along with the safety of reservoirs and international cooperation on this issue, he said.

Later the same day, the committee members discussed amendments to the Law on Railway. — VNS



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