NA Standing Committee clarifies planning law

August 14, 2019 - 08:27

Lawmakers at the ongoing meeting of National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee approved a resolution on Tuesday to clarify vague definitions mentioned in the Law on Planning.


The meeting overview. Photo

HÀ NỘI Lawmakers at the ongoing meeting of National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee approved a resolution on Tuesday to clarify vague definitions in the Law on Planning.
According to Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng, the Law on Planning was approved at the fourth session of the 14th NA in November 2017 and took effect on January 1, 2019.
Eight months since it was enforced, ministries, sectors and localities have different understandings of a number of the law’s articles, leading to sluggish planning implementation for 2021-30.
The Government proposed the NA Standing Committee issue the resolution to explain a number of vague articles.
Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng said that the Law on Planning’s enforcement was key to national planning implementation. However, planning at regional, sector and local levels had faced obstacles.
After the resolution was approved, the Government would instruct sectors and localities to overcome the obstacles, he said, adding that planning workload was huge with new projects, from marine planning, land use planning to local and national planning.
Lawmakers at the meeting proposed the Government issue a set of rules and steps to implement planning at national and local level to avoid overlaps.

The NA spent the afternoon discussing a report which reviews the policies on managing and using off-budget financial funds.

A decision to issue a decree on supervising the use and management of these funds was made as the result of the discussion.

A thorough review of all of these funds, spent between 2013-18, will be conducted by the Government to evaluate performance, from which rearrangement and merging of the funds might take place, according to NA vice chairman Phùng Quốc Hiển.

The decision was made following the presentation of the report by Nguyễn Đức Hải, chairman of the NA’s Finance-Budget Committee, which found there had not been a consistent flow of management of these funds at both the central and local levels of authority across the country.

The financial resources used to establish these funds were not strong enough to make sure they can function without support from the State budget, according to the report.

There were also overlaps between the functions and missions of the funds, leading to their poor performance, the report said.

Based on these findings, chairman Hải proposed the NA issue a decree to better manage these funds, and terminate unnecessary and non-performing ones.

Stressing the importance of the reviewing process, Lê Thị Nga, chairwoman of the NA’s Judicial Committee, said there was a loophole in the 2015 Law on State budget.

“The law regulated that these funds are ‘independent from the State budget’, but provided only general guidance on defining their functions. A legal corridor to manage them has not been established,” she said.

Reading the report by the NA’s Finance-Budget Committee, NA chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân pointed out there were some 100 legal documents allowing the establishment and regulating the functions of these funds.

“This shows that our legal system to manage these funds is complicated, inconsistent, intransparent and impractical,” she said. VNS