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Vietnam: Lawmakers Debate Land Law
Source: vietnamnews.vn
Source Date: Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Viet Nam
Created: Nov 13, 2012

Revisions to the Land Law need to address shortcomings in land management and usage so that land-related complaints can be reduced, according to National Assembly deputies' comments yesterday during a discussion on the amended law.

Deputies said the revisions to the law would add to other administrative reforms on land issues and improve how public land was overseen.

All this would limit corruption and wasteful land usage, they said.

Deputy Le Van Hoang from Da Nang City agreed with other deputies that the revisions should express that land belongs to all citizens and the State serves as their representative.

Regulations on the draft law, they said, would eliminate inconsistencies in land plans between different localities.

Deputy Huynh Nghia from Da Nang City said the law should outline clear procedures for revoking land, while deputy Huynh Ngoc Anh from HCM City wondered how land prices were fixed.

Deputy Hoang said land denunciations came either from citizens who had not received reasonable compensation for their land being revoked, or from disparities in land prices between localities and the State.

They wondered whether localities should be entrusted to fix land prices based on their own conditions.

Constitutional change
Also during their discussions yesterday, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung urged deputies to think hard about new amendments and supplements to the 1992 constitution.

"Revising the constitution is a crucial task," he said. "The constitution represents the will of the people, so you have to discuss it thoroughly and take people's ideas into consideration."

The amended constitution introduces a chapter embracing new, independent institutions, including a constitution council, national election council – plus the old State auditing agency.

The amended constitution occasionally merges two chapters into one. Those on the national flag, emblem, anthem, the capital, national day become one chapter on "the political institution of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam".

A chapter on "culture, education, science and technology" merges with a chapter on "economic institutions".

Delegates agreed the changes were needed to build a law-based State, to ensure people's rights, to build and protect the country – and to be active in international integration.

They also agreed that the changes would help improve the market economy.

Nguyen Van Phuc, who has worked with a committee for reforming the constitution in 1978,1992 and again now, said institutional reform enabled a country to develop in new situations.

He said a detailed report on 20 years of applying the existing Constitution 1992 was needed before any changes were made.

He suggested clarification of such things as citizens' fundamental rights, what constitutes public ownership – and the relationship between State agencies and local bodies.

Phuc also agreed to establish a council to protect the constitution.

Deputy Huynh Minh Thien from HCM City proposed that, despite pressure from some deputies, no changes be made to article two of the present constitution which says: "All State power belongs to the people in which the foundation is the alliance between working and farmers classes and intelligentsia."

HCM City deputy Pham Khanh Phong Lan had proposed changing the words to: "All the State power belongs to the people and their foundation is great national solidarity."

Lan argued that the changes would synchronise with the Party viewpoint that great national solidarity was the driving force for social development.

Like many delegates, deputy Vo Thi Dung from HCM City suggested the constitution confirm that the State economic sector continue to play a key role in the economy.

Most deputies agreed with changes to an article about human rights.

The article says "Citizens have the right to social securities. The State and society are responsible for supporting the elderly, the disabled, orphans and the poor. The State must have policies to support those who made sacrifices for their country. It must also support their families."

Hoa Binh Province deputy Nguyen Tien Sinh suggested the amended constitution confirm the task of ensuring balanced economic development among different regions in the country.

Today, the NA deputies will discuss ways to settle land-related denunciations. —VNS
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