Lawmakers to discuss Hanoi plan

The master plan for the development of the capital city by 2030 with a vision towards 2050 was a hot topic for discussion for the National Assembly Standing Committee on May 11 morning.
The master plan for the development of the capital city by 2030 with a vision towards 2050 was a hot topic for discussion for the National Assembly Standing Committee on May 11 morning.

In his report, Minister of Construction Nguyen Hong Quan said by 2020 the city’s population would stand at between 7.1 and 7.4 million compared to 6.4 million (by April 1, 2009) with a trend towards a city population of some 9 to 9.2 million by 2030.

After the expansion of the city in August 2008, its total natural area stood at 3,344 square metre. It is projected that by 2030 about 35 percent or 120,000 ha of the natural land will be used for various purposes in national construction and development.

It is estimated that a total budget of about 60 billion USD will be needed for technical infrastructure development in the next 20 years, of which 33.3 billion USD will go to the transport sector.

For the 2030-50 period, another 22.9 billion USD will be needed to invest in infrastructure development, of which the transport sector will need 16.8 billion USD.

Quan said under the master plan, Hanoi will have a core city surrounding by five satellite cities and many towns in rural areas.

In an appraisal report, Ha Manh Hien, chairman of the NA Economics Committee, asked the Ministry of Construction to thoroughly consider comments and suggestions of the Hanoi People’s Committee and the people of Hanoi on the master plan, “As they are the ones to organise the implementation of the plan,” Hien said.

Regarding the concept of a “central city” and “satellite cities” as mentioned in the master plan within a city which is affiliated to the central government, many deputies said the idea ran against the Law on Urban Planning and that this plan should invite public opinions before it could be finalised for approval as stipulated in the Law on Urban Planning.

Le Quang Binh, Chairman of the Committee for National Defence and
Security, didn’t agree with the suggestion that the administrative centre should be placed in Ba Vi, some 60 km west of the existing city centre, while the political centre remains inside present day Hanoi .

”It is not suitable for historical factors as well as cultural, national defence and security reasons,” Binh said.

Phung Quoc Hien, Chairman of the NA Committee on Budget and Finance, said the requirements of between 20 billion USD and 30 billion USD on investment in infrastructure development was a huge sum. Yet, lesions learned from recent infrastructure projects in the city, up to 80 percent of the project budget had been spent on land compensation. “This is a factor we have to consider carefully about the feasibility of the proposed estimate budget for infrastructure development of the city,” Hien said.

Ksor Phuoc, Chairman of the Council for Nationalities, drew other participants on the relationships between the master plan and existing planning projects, in order to ensure they harmonised with each other.

Tran Dinh Dam, Chairman of the National Assembly Office, said the master plan had failed to focus on rural development, agricultural land and the traditional handicraft industry, particularly in rural areas of the old Hanoi and former Ha Tay province before the city’s expansion in August, 2008.

During their discussions, some participants asked the Ministry of Construction to set out plans for the development of industries, education and training, and health care in the capital city for the next 40 years (until 2050) and accompanied land use mechanism and management plans.

The Government, however, recommended extending the submission deadline of the Capital Law until the National Assembly meeting at the end of this year instead of on May 20 as planned, for more in-depth research.

More time was needed to ensure the quality of the bill, which covered different aspects of the capital city, including economy, society, culture, education and urban management, with a lot of specific regulations different to the current laws, the Government said.

The Capital Law is one of the 2010 law-making projects that would see changes in schedule following the Government's most recent recommendation.

The Public Investment Law bill was also excluded from this year's law-making plan.

Last year, the Government recommended delaying the submission of eight law bills, or 22 per cent of the year's law-making plan.

"The changes in the law-making plan mean lack of good preparations," NA Ombudsman Board head Tran The Vuong said.

"A number of bills were added to the law-making plan for some urgent reasons but then were required to be withdrawn due to shortage of preparation."

National Assembly Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Kien agreed, saying some bills had seen delays in submission over and over again while they involved social stability or were the focus of the public opinions.

Both NA Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong and Vice Chairman Uong Chu Luu said lessons should be learnt to work out future annual law-making plans in a practical and selective manner.

To make a feasible plan, it was important that all bills meet two requirements: indispensability and good preparations, they said.

According to the Government's proposal, next year's law-making plan will cover 31 law bills.

Three NA meetings are scheduled for next year. Four bills will be submitted for approval in the first meeting, in March. The second meeting, in July, is expected to pass one more bill and review four others while the last official legislator gathering will vote for 10 bills and give feedback on six others./.

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