The 5th session of Vietnam’s National Assembly, which opened this morning in Hanoi, is expected to decide on a raft of important issues, including the revised 1992 Constitution draft, revised land laws and confidence votes for senior positions.
Speaking at the session’s opening ceremony, National Assembly (NA) Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung urged for comprehensive measures and efforts to overcome current challenges and successfully achieve the country’s socio-economic development plan for 2013.
President of the National Assembly of Vietnam Nguyen Sinh Hung
Hung said the country had faced many challenges due to unstable marco economics, bank system restructuring, bad debts, stagnant goods and real estate, as well as increasing numbers of bankrupt enterprises.
“The draft of the revised 1992 Constitution has been seriously researched and perfected for submission to the NA with spirits of honestly receiving, researching and filtering public opinions and fully,” said Hung.
On behalf of the NA, Hung also welcomed the suggestions to the draft of the revised 1992 Constitution made by local people and those overseas.
The NA chairman asked deputies to continuously discuss and perfect the revised land law on legal and reality aspects to ensure its feasibility and ability to handle obstacles and shortcomings in implementing current land regulations.
“Confidence votes for positions elected or approved by the National Assembly or People’s Councils have been seen as a an important step in the country’s political reform with the aim of clarifying Party guidelines, laws and regulations, while strengthening the voice of the people through implementation of the NA’s right to supervise key positions in the Party and Government,” said Hung.
Deputies of Vietnam’s 13th National Assembly (NA) convened its fifth session in capital Hanoi on Monday to review the country’s socio-economic development and legislative work.
In his opening remark, NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said that in the first five months of 2013, domestic economy witnessed higher growth than the same period last year.
Inflation has been curbed, prices stabilized, interest rates lowered and export turnover increased, Hung said. However, he pointed out that the macro economy was not yet stable, inventories are still high, along with an increasing number of businesses shutting down or dismissing.
This situation “requires us to have positive solutions and comprehensive efforts to overcome difficulties and challenges to successfully implement the socio-economic development plan in 2013, creating impetus for sustainable development in the following years,” Hung added.
A highlight of the session’s working agenda, which is scheduled to last till June 21, will be the conduct of poll and vote of confidence for the first time on 49 high-ranking officials elected or approved by the NA or the people’s councils. Those who poll less than 50 percent will face a no-confidence vote or be called to resign.
The officials, including top leaders of the assembly, the state and the government, have submitted reports on their work performance and results, mentioning law obedience, ethics and lifestyle to the NA deputies 20 days before the voting day, for consideration.
During the one-month session, deputies will consider and adopt one resolution and 10 bills, including Law on Land (amended), Law on Prevention and Combat Terrorism, Law on Defense and Security Education, and give opinion on the draft amendment to the Constitution 1992 and seven other bills.
On the first day of working, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc presented a report giving more details in task performance in 2012 and in the first months of this year as well as major solutions for the remaining months of 2013.
The Vietnamese economy is still facing a myriad of challenges, ranging from the large amount of nonperforming debts to the rising number of bankrupt businesses, the government and the Committee of Economic Affairs reported at the National Assembly’s fifth session on Monday.
The first day of the 5th session was reserved for the NA to listen to reports on socio-economic performance in 2012 and the first four months of this year, which is forecast by both of the reports to remain in a tough spot.
“Although the socio-economic situation posted certain positive signs in the first four months, its development remains slow and unsustainable,” Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said to begin the government’s report.
The economy is still under pressure of high inflation and vulnerable to macro-economic instability, while the lending interest rates remain out of borrowers’ reach, the report said.
Credit growth lagged far behind the 12 percent a year target, and the rate of nonperforming loans remained as high as 7.8 percent by the end of last year, according to figures from the State Bank of Vietnam.
State Bank of Vietnam
The gold market management system has also failed to mobilize gold from the public to pump into the economy.
The government’s report also pointed out that market consumption remains low and a number of commodities still have high unsold inventory stocks. The number of businesses forced to dissolve or declare bankruptcy continues to rise, while the realty market is still struggling to escape from its frozen state.
“Policies have been issued to help solve the problems, but most of them either lack guidance for implementation or are slowly implemented,” the report concluded.
As for solutions in the near future, Phuc said the government will prioritize pulling down the average lending interest rate and achieve the credit growth target of 12 percent a year.
Chief of the NA’s Committee of Economic Affairs, Nguyen Van Giau, also delivered the committee’s report, which shares many mutual points with that of the government.
“The task to improve the situation in the remaining months of the year is a very tough one,” commented Giau.
As much as 69 percent of businesses nationwide reported losses by the end of 2012, according to the committee.
“The problem is how to ensure that both the targets of boosting GDP growth and combating inflation can be achieved,” Giau said.
The committee thus suggested that fiscal and monetary policies should be released to boost consumption, besides implementing the solutions to support businesses with production and bank loans.