Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The 23rd session of the Standing Committee of the 14th National Assembly kicked off in Hà Nội yesterday to discuss preparations for the fifth meeting of the NA, the supervision programmes of the NA and its Standing Committee and the law and ordinance-building programme next year.
Speaking at the opening of the session, NA chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân said the NA Standing Committee would give opinions on a number draft laws including the Law on Coast Guards, the revised Anti-Corruption Law, the law on amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Amnesty, the Urban Development and Management Law, the Husbandry Law and the Cultivation Law.
The legislators would consider the Government’s report on efficiency and wastefulness in 2017, the supervisory report on the management and establishment of Phú Mỹ Town and its wards in the southern coastal province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu and Phước Cát Town in the Central Highlands province of Lâm Đồng.
The submission of several draft laws, including the Law on State Investment, would be postponed. Revisions to the Public Security Law and the law on amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Food Security and Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harms would also be postponed due to a lack of sufficient documents, she said.
Working on the draft Law on the Coast Guard in the morning, the majority of deputies expressed their support for upgrading the Ordinance on the Coast Guard to the Law on the Coast Guard.
Given the fast-changing world and regional situations, the issuance of the law is necessary to ensure unity in legal framework and create a legal foundation for all coast guard activities, they said.
According to Lieutenant General Lê Chiêm, Deputy Minister of Defence, the East Sea is considered one of the most complicated sea areas in the world. It not only affects the interests of many countries along the East Sea, but also concerns the political interests of the world powers.
The situation of Vietnam’s sea areas is unpredictable. Traditional and non-traditional security threats, organised and transnational crime as well as violations of the law on security and order occur more regularly at sea. Therefore, Vietnam Coast Guard officials have a tough job, according to Chiêm.
Chiêm said the Ordinance on the Coast Guard was not compatible with the position, functions and powers of the Vietnam Coast Guard in this tense situation. In addition, the Ordinance has revealed some inadequacies that need to be rectified in order to comply with the provisions of the Constitution and to ensure the legal system’s unity. As a result, the compiling of the Law on the Coast Guard was urgent and necessary, he said.
While agreeing with Chiêm’s opinion, Phan Thanh Bình, chairman of the NA Committee for Culture, Education, Youth, Adolescents and Children emphasised the need to clarify the scope of operation of the Vietnam Coast Guard, particularly between the Coast Guard and the Border Guard, to avoid overlapping responsibilities.
Many deputies suggested that the compiling committee carefully review the contents to guarantee consistency and avoid creating redundancy between the draft law and relevant laws, especially on issues relating to the organisation, authority and legal status of Vietnam Coast Guards forces.
They also gave opinions on other content concerning the tasks, scope of operation, patrol activities, use of weapons and supporting tools as well as professional technical equipment of this force.
Concluding the debate, Deputy NA Chairman Đỗ Bá Tỵ said the NA Standing Committee agreed in principle with the content and coverage of the draft law. However, the committee required further review of existing regulations, including subordinate legislative documents to ensure a comprehensive law.
Regarding the function of the Vietnam Coast Guard, most deputies agreed to consider them as an armed force. However, many suggested the need to further clarify the legal status of this force.
Basing on deputies’ opinions, Tỵ said, the NA Standing Committee agreed to submit the draft law to the National Assembly at the fifth meeting, and proposed the Committee on National Defense and Security coordinate with the compiling committee and relevant agencies to complete the draft law in accordance with the approval process.
In the afternoon session, deputies mulled over reports on the management and use of State capital and property in businesses and the equitisation of State-owned enterprises in 2011-2016.The session is scheduled to run until April 17. — VNS