A view of Vân Đồn International Airport in Quảng Ninh Province. — Photo laodong.vn
HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh made clear a number of issues of public concern during a Q&A session of the 14th National Assembly (NA) on Thursday, including
public investment disbursement, private economic sector development and corruption prevention and control.
Minh told NA deputies that the Government had directed ministries and sectors at all levels to take measures to increase the disbursement of public investment capital.
Nearly VNĐ100 trillion (US$4.34 billion) was disbursed from January-May, or nearly 29 per cent of the annual target, he said.
The Government had submitted draft amendments to the Law on Public Investment for the legislature for approval, which suggested boosting decentralisation in localities, simplifying administrative procedures, enhancing inspections to ensure openness and transparency, and fighting negative behaviour and interest groups.
Once the bill was adopted, the Government would seriously abide by its provisions, and include public involvement in a breakthrough strategy for building synchronous and modern infrastructure, he said.
Hailing the private sector’s important contributions to economic growth, the Deputy PM asked for continued adjustments to the Investment Law and Law on Enterprises to make it easier for them to access infrastructure, capital, land, natural resources and human resources; and join the global value chain.
Regarding the recent cheating scandal that has embroiled the national high school exams, Minh asked agencies to verify and deal with violations, and specify the responsibilities of the individuals and organisations concerned.
Referring to corruption prevention and control, he said authorities had uncovered and strictly dealt with serious economic and corruption cases, audited fields prone to corruption, and disciplined individuals and organisations in loss-making fields and those of public concern.
On the impact of the US-China trade war on the domestic economy, the Deputy PM said the Government had established a steering committee to cope with the issue.
Responding to a deputy’s question about what Việt Nam should do to tap the benefits of free trade agreements (FTAs), Minh said after the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) took effect on January 14, 2019, the PM issued a directive guiding the implementation of the deal. So far, 21 ministries and departments and 54 localities had issued action plans to realise the deal.
Minh also explained the reason for the slow disbursement of official development assistance in several projects, the sustainable use of Mekong River water, and the detention of fishermen working in waters pending demarcation, adding the Government was trying to raise fishermen’s awareness of international laws and asking them to fish in legitimate areas protected by coast guards.
Solutions to superstitious practices
Solutions to superstitious practices in the name of religion were highlighted by Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Ngọc Thiện while replying to legislators’ questions earlier the same day.
In response to lawmakers’ queries about this issue, Thiện said that religion and belief were a spiritual demand, and religious practices were the legitimate rights of the people, helping to diversify the spiritual life and development of people.
Việt Nam’s laws respected and protected the freedom of religion and belief, he said.
However, some individuals had taken advantage of religion with superstitious practices that violated laws, he admitted, noting that punishments for such practices were stipulated in the law, and the public had also condemned violations of ethics and traditional culture.
"To deal with those violations, we needed to fine-tune legal documents, increase communication to improve public awareness of traditional cultural values, and condemn and strictly handle superstitious practices in the name of religion and belief", he said.
Minister of Home Affairs Lê Vĩnh Tân gave additional information about the State management of religious activities.
He pointed out that recently, several people had taken advantage of places of worship with superstitious to gain a profit, which had stirred public concern.
The ministry would continue to propose legal documents to the Government to realise the Law on Belief and Religion, including a decree on administrative fines for infringements, in order to prevent practices that abused belief and religion and deviated from Việt Nam’s ethical and cultural standards, he said.
On this matter, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said the abuse of belief and religion to seek profit must be strictly handled in line with the law and by religious organisations. This problem also needed to be resolved by increasing communication.
He reiterated the Party and State always respected freedom of belief and religion among all people, and created conditions for religions to be practised in line with the law. — VNS