National Assembly to vote on revised Constitution

The 13th National Assembly deputies will vote on the draft amendments to the 1992 Constitution and a resolution on executing the constitution on November 28.
The 13th National Assembly deputies will vote on the draft amendments to the 1992 Constitution and a resolution on executing the constitution on November 28.

Before being submitted to the ongoing 6th session, the constitutional revisions were amended to reflect the will and aspirations of people of all social strata, comprehensively elaborate the democratic and progressive characteristics of the State and political system in the transitional period to socialism, and specifically define the country’s politics, economy, culture, education, science and technology, human rights, and fundamental rights and obligations of citizens, and the State apparatus.

The draft revised fundamental law was also subject to a public referendum. From January 1 to September 30, 2013, 26 million recommendations were gathered from agencies, individuals, and organisations including overseas Vietnamese. During this period, 28,149 conferences, meetings, and forums were held to collect public opinions. The recommendations were carefully summarised to deliver to the National Assembly deputies.

The November 28 meeting will be televised publicly. Delegates will also approve a resolution on plans to issue Government bonds during 2014-16 and debate the draft Law on Entry, Exit and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam.

Inland waterways fascinate lawmakers

Deputies on November 27 agreed that developing inland waterways would help ease pressure on the country's roads. Deputy Do Van Ve from northern Thai Binh province said inland water plans would need to consider the operation of hydro-power plants, irrigation and flood releases.

"The bill should add regulations on master plans for developing inland water-traffic infrastructure in tandem with economic development plans. The river basin scheme should also be compatible with national defence and security objectives," said Ve.

Ve added that the law needed to include a clear definition of inland waterways to clarify the need for the project and ensure appropriate management of inland waterway vehicles.

Deputy Bui Thi An from Hanoi recommended assigning oversight of the master plan to an organisation to minimise overlaps and waste.

Deputies also debated traffic safety, business management, hygiene and environmental protection measures relevant to the inland-waterway transport law, expressing concerns with administrative overlaps posing difficulties in the management and handling of violations.

Deputy Huynh Minh Thien from Ho Chi Minh City said the Ministry of Transport's Vietnam Marine Administration managed seven river routes (176km), while the Vietnam Inland Waterway Department managed 16 inland waterways (252km) and the remaining 87 (574km) was managed by the Ho Chi Minh City transport department.

"The bill should clearly separate the role of the state and localities in the management of inland waterway traffic," Thien said.

An official National Assembly report stated that of the country's 80,577km of rivers and canals, nearly 42,000km were used for transport activities, while State management authorities currently oversee around 19,000km of the nation's busiest inland waterways.

Deputy Tran Xuan Hung from northern Ha Nam province said the operation of inland traffic was a complex issue; adding that unqualified issues or unregistered boats were causing a high number of accidents.

Deputy Nguyen Minh Kha from Can Tho city in the Mekong Delta called for more stringent checks on boat operators to enforce licencing and safety standards.

Deputy Nguyen Ngoc Phuong from central Quang Binh province said the law also needed to ensure adequate hygiene and tighter controls on waste discharged directly into rivers.

Deputies on November 27 also passed a resolution to improve the management of hydro-power projects.

Anti-crime measures

Later on November 27, National Assembly deputies also approved a resolution on the prevention and fight against crime.

The resolution calls on local authorities and police to fulfill their responsibilities in ensuring safety and security in localities. The law also seeks to shore up police management of illegal gambling, drugs and prostitution.

The resolution also assigns the Government in instructing ministries, sectors and localities in the fight against corruption and waste in 2012-16 as well as a national strategy on combating corruption until 2020.

Accordingly, the Government would issue a detailed instruction next year on supervising the properties and income of officials and defining the responsibilities of leaders of organisations and agencies suspected of wrongdoing.

The Government would also take responsibilities in the detection and settlement of wrongdoings in the judicial sector, the popularisation of law and the improvement of the legal system.

Also in the afternoon session, the deputies discussed the Law on Public Investment, which regulates the assessment and approval of public investment projects.

The discussions focused on the planning and assessment of public investment projects as well as requirements and eligible applicants for the projects.-VNA

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