The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on August 13 approved a resolution to clarify vague definitions in the freshly-enforced Law on Planning.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said 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 2021-2030.
The Government proposed the NA Standing Committee issue the resolution to explain a number of vague articles.
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung 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 issues 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 2013-2018, 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 Phung Quoc Hien.
The decision was made following the presentation of the report by Nguyen Duc Hai, 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, Hai proposed the NA issues a decree to better manage these funds, and terminate unnecessary and non-performing ones.
Stressing the importance of the reviewing process, Le Thi 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 Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan 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, nontransparent and impractical, she said.