Continuing the fifth session, the 13th National Assembly on the afternoon of May 20 heard reports on the collection of opinions on draft amendments to the 1992 Constitution, a proposal asking for NA approval of the State budget balance for 2011 and some other issues.

In presenting the report on the collection of people’s opinions on the draft amendments to the 1992 Constitution and the adjustment of the draft accordingly, Director of the NA Committee on Law Phan Trung Ly said that so far nearly 26.1 million opinions have been collected and more than 28,000 conferences, seminars and discussions have been held on the issue.

In general, the majority of the opinions agreed to the main content of the draft amendments, Ly said, stressing that many opinions are zealous, intellectual and responsible.

He reported that almost all opinions agreed with the need to amend the 1992 Constitution, saying that this will make the constitution suitable to the new circumstances.

The director noted that regarding the name of the country, there are two opinions. The first is to maintain the name “The Socialist Republic of Vietnam”, saying that the name clarifies the Party, State and people’s chosen way and purpose of building the socialist regime in Vietnam.

The second opinion is to change the name to “The Democratic Republic of Vietnam”, explaining that the name is closely connected with the birth of the first republican regime in Vietnam and that it was officially stated in the Declaration of Independence read by President Ho Chi Minh on September 2, 1945. The name also reflects the reality that the political regime in Vietnam is republican, and the nature of the State in Vietnam is democratic.

Also according to the report, most opinions valued the draft amendments for including almost all essential civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in line with international treaties to which Vietnam is a member. In addition, the public basically approved the addition of a new chapter on independent constitutional institutions.

Also at the sitting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh presented a report proposing the NA adopts the Government’s balance-sheet for the 2011 State budget.

Budget revenue and expenditure reached and exceeded the estimates set by the NA, the report said.

The budget revenue totalled 721,804 billion VND, 21.3 percent over the 595,000 billion VND estimate. Meanwhile, budget expenditure was 787,554 billion VND, 8.5 percent higher than the estimated expenditure of 725,600 billion VND.

Budget deficit for 2011 was 112,034 billion VND, or 4.4 percent of GDP , lower than the level permitted by the NA at 120,600 billion VND, or 5.3 percent of GDP.-VNA