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Vietnamese ministers queried over land management, law implementation
Publication Date : 21-08-2013
Deputies of Vietnam's National Assembly (NA) yesterday grilled several government ministers during an online Question and Answer session as part of the Standing Committee's 20th session.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Minh Quang had a particularly tough afternoon with questions about delays in the issuance of land certificates to all households in the country, and sought reassurance that the problems would be resolved by the deadline at the end of the year.
Deputy Nguyen Thanh Thuy from central Binh Dinh Province claimed that legal documents about land use rights were not synchronised, hindering the issuance of certificates.
Le Viet Truong from the NA Committee for National Defence and Security said that the issuance of land use rights certificates for defence and security purposes was very slow. He declared his doubts over the possibility that they would now be completed on time.
According to Quang's report, the number of certificates issued by the end of June stood at 36 million for 20.12 million hectares, equivalent to 83.2 per cent of the total land, and more than 3.5 million certificates for over 2.2 million hectares of land are now waiting to be issued.
The report stated that these were located across 18 provinces, some of which were struggling to find room in their budget for the issuance process.
"We are also worried about the speed of issuance. However, if localities do not do their job on time then the ministry will also fail to meet the deadline," Quang said.
NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung asked the minister to name the slow localities immediately following the Q&A session so that appropriate measures could be introduced to ensure the deadlines were met.
Hung also urged the ministry to tighten measures to protect the country's environment and its natural and mineral resources.
Deputy Danh Ut from southern Kien Giang Province called for an explanation into cases where the wrong issuance of exploitation licences subsequently led to huge environmental damage. Quang again blamed localities
He was asked by NA Deputy Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan to hand over a list of any localities discovered to have incorrectly issued exploitation licences to the NA so that deputies could increase their supervision.
Earlier in the day, Minister of Justice Ha Hung Cuong also faced a tricky Q&A session, as he faced a barrage of questions about the delays in implementing some laws, disrupting the country's social and economic development.
"Many voters are furious when they must wait up to five years for guidance on laws, such as decrees and circulars. Can we see this slowness as a violation of the law as it goes against the NA resolution?" demanded deputy Bui Manh Hung from southern Binh Phuoc Province.
The lawmakers also raised their concerns over impractical and unfeasible guidance for some laws, such as granting Vietnam's heroic mothers an advantage when taking university entrance exams or banning the use of small glass windows on coffins.
Cuong admitted that delays had taken place due to the high number of new laws requiring guidance. He said that the government was compiling and would soon issue a resolution on law making, which would regulate the responsibilities of the minister and set up monthly, quarterly and yearly law making reports.
Regarding the unfeasible guidance, Cuong said that all documents which were not clearly in accordance with the laws they were said to represent would be adjusted.
Backing his governmental colleague, Head of the Government Office Vu Duc Dam said that the number of delayed legal documents had decreased this year.
"In 2006 there were 526 late guiding legal documents, but by 2012 there were only 163," he said.
The morning Q&A session also featured a number of questions about whether officials and enterprises had ever lobbied aggressively for a change in the country's laws, illegally influencing subsequent changes.
In response, Cuong said that all legal documents were carefully and strictly built up. However, he admitted that circulars and joint circulars among ministries and sectors did not receive such strident checks.
"Lobbying for policies is quite popular in other countries but it's difficult and limited in our country due to a difference in political systems," he said, adding that the issue of laws and policies aimed to institutionalise the Party's values, so they definitely were not affected or lobbied for by different political parties.
The Q&A sessions were organised online with connections to all NA deputy delegations, representatives of people's committees and people's councils from 63 cities and provinces nationwide. They were also broadcast live on TV and radio.