Sunday, November 18 2018

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Ministers grilled on hot social issues

Update: November, 01/2018 - 07:00
Minister of Information and Communication Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng. — VNA/VNS Photo Phương Hoa
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà received questions and comments from National Assembly deputies yesterday, with concerns including environmental protection and sustainable resources management.

In response to a question from deputy Quách Thế Tản from the northern province of Hòa Bình regarding the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE)’s inspections during the second day of the National Assembly (NA) Q&As yesterday, Hà said in the last two years, inspectors had conducted 1,000 inspections, with a focus on land management.

Thousands of hectares of wrongly-used land had been confiscated, he said, adding that inspections in five big cities including Hà Nội, HCM City and Hải Phòng City had helped terminate the wrongful use of 516 ineffective projects, with more than 3,000ha of land withdrawn.

Answering deputy Hà Thị Lan from the northern province of Bắc Giang on the responsibility of the MoNRE in handling thousands of scrap containers at major seaports around the country, Hà said the ministry, under the instructions of Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, had taken measures to tackle the problem, saying the clearance could be done within two months.

“The ministry has consulted the Government to request importing organisations and individuals to re-export them,” Hà said.

Hà said the ministry would also work with the Ministry of Public Security to investigate and punish violators.

Commenting on Hà’s answer, deputy Trần Văn Minh from the northern province of Quảng Ninh said the mentioned measures were just temporary and would not solve the problem.

According to the ministry’s report, more than 15,000 containers are currently at ports, including containers containing waste and scrap.

"Voters are concerned that they may contain hazardous wastes and potential environmental risks if there is no proper treatment," Minh said, asking for a response the PM, who will take his Q&As session today.

Minh also said other ministries must be responsible, including ministries of industry and trade;,finance, transport and public security, for the situation.

Answering deputy Nguyễn Thị Hồng Hà from the central province of Ninh Thuận about the handling of more than 15.7 million tonnes of ash generated from 20 thermal power plants across the country, Hà said the plants could control the quality of imported coal. He said with good technology, the ash could also become construction materials.

Sustainable fishery

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường yesterday failed to answer a question from deputy Nguyễn Thị Phúc from the central province of Bình Thuận about when Việt Nam would be able to remove European Commission’s ‘yellow card’ warning on Vietnamese seafood exports.

He, instead, urged for more synchronous and drastic measures from all sectors for more progress in the removal process.

According to Cường, removing the warning would depend on the EC’s assessments on Việt Nam’s fulfilments of the regulations.

Cường said after getting the warning in October last year after the country failed to demonstrate sufficient progress in the fight against illegal fishing worldwide, Việt Nam had been determined to fight illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing to have the warning lifted.

According to the minister, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has engaged in crafting the revised Law on Fisheries to put the EC’s recommendations into concrete legislation. New sub-law documents related to fisheries had also been formulated with the support of experts from the EC to increase feasibility, he said.

Cường said coastal cities and provinces had taken serious actions, including increasing patrols and tightening monitoring of their waters to prevent violations.

He also told them to better disseminate regulations against IUU fishing at harbours and to get tough on vessels that do not keep their satellite-positioning systems active constantly.

The EU is Việt Nam’s second largest seafood importer, purchasing US$350-400 million worth of local seafood annually, accounting for about 16-17 per cent of total seafood export revenue.

Enterprise assistance

Responding to NA deputies’ questions over measures to support Vietnamese businesses in the global economic integration process, Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Tuấn Anh said that the ministry has supported the enterprises to reach the domestic market and collaborate with commercial organisations and associations to assist businesses to address international trade disputes.

“The ministry has supported the enterprises to actively participate in free trade agreements. The upcoming ones are the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement and Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership,” he said.

To protect domestic businesses from the competive pressure of foreign businesses operating in Việt Nam, the minister said that the most important factor is to improve competitive capacity of local products and restructure the agricultural sector and industrial products.

Upgrading infrastructure serving trade activities and developing human resources are measures to be taken, he said.

Cyber security

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng yesterday took his first Q&A session as a minister, with questions regarding the handling of fake news, cyber attacks and unregistered SIM cards.

Regarding fake news, Hùng said it was a problem worldwide and had yet to be controlled.

“First, we need to define what fake news is, which means it should be clarified by law. Second, we need supervising tools, which means we need technology. And lastly we need cleaning tools to deal with such fake news,” he said, adding Việt Nam could learn from the European Union and some ASEAN countries.

To deal with unregistered SIM cards, Hùng said it was necessary to complete a database on citizens so the information of the SIM card owner can be clarified quickly.

Other ministers of health; industry and trade; finance; labour, invalids and social affairs, chief judge of the People’s Supreme Court, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam also responded to questions from deputies yesterday.

The Q&A sessions will continue today with Prime Minister Phúc being expected to answer questions at the end. — VNS

 

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