Saturday, 23 Mar 2019

Vietnam parliament wraps up semi-annual session on high note

Updated at Sunday, 17 Jun 2018, 22:54
The Hanoitimes - Vietnam`s National Assembly ended a three-week-long session on June 15 with the passing of seven laws which are expected to exert a positive impact on the country`s daily life.
The National Assembly has spared no effort in improving the legal system's efficiency with regard to economic development, human rights, basic rights and responsibilities of citizens, and national defense capability, said the National Assembly's Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan at the closing session.
The fifth session of the National Assembly ended on June 15. Source: VOV.
The fifth session of the National Assembly ended on June 15. Source: VOV.
Ngan highly regarded the public's patriotism and responsibility to the country's matters of high priority, which were shown throughout the session. 

However, following last weekend's protests in some localities, the chairperson called on the public to remain calm and  continue putting faith in the Party, the Government and the National Assembly, in which every opinion will be considered thoroughly. 

Seven laws were passed during this session include: Law on Measurement and Map, Law on Cybersecurity, revised Law on Denunciations, revised Law on Competition, revised Law on National Defense, Law on Physical Training and Sports, and Law on amendments and supplements to several articles of the Law on Planning. 

Notably, the National Assembly has decided to postpone the voting on the draft Law on Special Administrative - Economic Zones (SEZs) until the next session in October for further consideration, following recommendations and suggestions from experts, parliamentarians and citizens nationwide. 

The draft law on SEZs has stirred controversial opinions during previous discussion sessions over the necessity of land leasing duration up to 99 years and tax incentives. The government later proposed to apply the Law on Land with regard to the duration of land leasing in SEZs, as well as to discard the exceptional case of land leasing tenure of up to 99 years. 

Much controversy also surrounded the approval of the Law on Cybersecurity, which critics say will hurt the economy and contradict Vietnam's commitments to regional trade treaties. The law requires Internet service providers such as Google and Facebook to store user data in Vietnam and open representative offices in the Southeast Asian country.

However, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly explained the Law's necessity in the context of increasing complications and uncertainties in cyberspace, while providing legal framework for law enforcement in tackling violations. 

The Committee also allayed concern about a potential exit of Google and Facebook from the country, given the large benefits generated in the Vietnam's market. 

About 55 million Vietnamese are regular social media users, according to a 2018 global digital report by the media consulting firm We Are Social and Hootsuite, a social media management firm. Vietnam ranked seventh among active Facebook-using countries, the report said, while its economic hub, Ho Chi Minh City was number 10 among cities with active Facebook users.

Following the end of the fifth session, Ngan requested concerned government agencies and organizations to ensure the speedy execution of laws and resolution adopted. 
Nguyen Tung
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