Na­tional Assem­bly ap­proves ba­sic wage rise

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HAØ NOÄI — The monthly ba­sic wage of State em­ploy­ees will in­crease from VNÑ1.39 mil­lion (US$59) to VNÑ1.49 mil­lion ($63) from July next month thanks to a res­o­lu­tion on next year’s State bud­get es­ti­mate adopted by the Na­tional Assem­bly (NA) yes­ter­day.

Fol­low­ing the ba­sic wage hike, pen­sion, so­cial in­sur­ance al­lowance and al­lowance for rev­o­lu­tion­ary con­trib­u­tors will be ad­justed.

The res­o­lu­tion as­signed the Gov­ern­ment to con­tinue di­rect­ing cen­tral and lo­cal agen­cies to stream­line State pay­roll and re­or­gan­ise the ad­min­is­tra­tive ap­pa­ra­tus.

The por­tion of the State bud­get al­lo­cated for pub­lic units will be cut down to give pri­or­ity to wage re­form pol­icy.

The res­o­lu­tion es­ti­mates more than VNÑ1.41 quadrillion ($60 bil­lion) for to­tal State bud­get col­lec­tion and over VNÑ1.63 quadrillion ($69.5 bil­lion) for State bud­get spend­ing.

The NA agreed to set bud­get over­spend­ing at VNÑ222 tril­lion ($9.45 bil­lion), in­clud­ing VNÑ209.5 tril­lion ($8.9 bil­lion) from the cen­tral bud­get and VNÑ12.5 tril­lion ($0.55 bil­lion) from lo­cal bud­gets.

The to­tal over­spend­ing is es­ti­mated to be equiv­a­lent to 3.6 per cent of the coun­try’s Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct.

The State bud­get will bor­row an es­ti­mated to­tal of over VNÑ425.2 tril­lion ($18.1 bil­lion).

The NA also ap­proved the al­lo­ca­tion of a re­main­ing pack­age of VNÑ10.38 tril­lion ($441.7 mil­lion) from the 2017 bud­get to make up for cen­tral and lo­cal bud­get deficits and sup­port lo­cal­i­ties in im­ple­ment­ing the wage pol­icy.

The NA has tasked the Gov­ern­ment with fis­cal and mon­e­tary poli­cies to sup­port pro­duc­tion, sta­bilise the econ­omy, con­trol in­fla­tion and ac­cel­er­ate growth.

The res­o­lu­tion has also urged the Gov­ern­ment to en­sure the trans­parency of State bud­get ex­pen­di­tures to avoid waste­ful­ness.

Min­is­ter of Health Nguyeãn Thò Kim Tieán yes­ter­day sub­mit­ted a draft law on the pre­ven­tion of al­co­hol’s harm­ful ef­fects which would ban the sale of al­co­holic bev­er­ages to con­sumers un­der 18 years old.

The draft law aims to re­duce the bur­den of dis­eases on pub­lic health sys­tems.

Tieán high­lighted the ur­gent need to ap­prove the law as al­co­hol con­sump­tion in Vieät Nam has reached an alarm­ing level.

Nguyeãn Thuùy Anh, chair­woman of the NA’s Com­mit­tee for So­cial Af­fairs, which is in charge of as­sess­ing the draft law, said the law should give more pri­or­ity to poli­cies aimed at young peo­ple and ado­les­cents.

It also bans any ad­ver­tise­ments of bev­er­ages with an al­co­hol con­tent of 15 per cent or higher and pro­poses levy­ing a spe­cial tax on al­co­hol prod­ucts to re­duce their harm­ful im­pacts.

“Vieät Nam is one of the coun­tries sell­ing al­co­holic bev­er­ages at the cheap­est prices,” Anh said. “One litre of al­co­hol is half the cost of one litre of milk. It is easy for con­sumers to buy and use th­ese prod­ucts. The tax in­crease is a nec­es­sary so­lu­tion to re­duce con­sump­tion.”

The com­mit­tee pro­posed us­ing the money raised by the tax to prevent the harm­ful ef­fects of al­co­hol.

Re­gard­ing the ban on ad­ver­tise­ments at sport­ing and cul­tural events for chil­dren and stu­dents, Anh said ad­ver­tise­ments must also be banned be­fore and af­ter the events.

The ban on sell­ing al­co­holic bev­er­ages on the in­ter­net has re­ceived a split re­sponse from the ex­am­in­ing agency. Op­po­nents ar­gue the ban is not fea­si­ble and coun­ters the e-com­merce trend.

The com­mit­tee pro­posed the Gov­ern­ment re­view the prac­ti­cal con­di­tions and learn from other coun­tries’ ex­pe­ri­ences to as­sess the reg­u­la­tion’s im­pacts be­fore putting it into prac­tice.

The com­mit­tee asked the Gov­ern­ment to con­duct a de­tailed eval­u­a­tion of the draft law and its com­pat­i­bil­ity with Vieät Nam’s com­mit­ments to the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion and other in­ter­na­tional bod­ies. The com­mit­tee re­quested the Gov­ern­ment eval­u­ate the im­pacts of poli­cies and ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures that Dis­cussing the Law on Cul­ti­va­tion yes­ter­day, Deputy Muøa A Vaøng from Ñieän Bieân Prov­ince said the law needed to have clear and strict reg­u­la­tions on cul­ti­va­tion ac­tiv­i­ties to en­sure food hy­giene and safety, bi­o­log­i­cal safety and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.

“The law also needs to fos­ter con­nec­tion in cul­ti­va­tion ac­tiv­i­ties and strengthen the ef­fi­ciency of large-scale farms and largescale pro­duc­tion mod­els,” Vaøng said.

Mean­while, deputy Hoaøng Vaên Höông from Sôn La Prov­ince said the law should have reg­u­la­tions on strictly con­trol­ling fer­tiliser pro­duc­tion. In­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies pro­duc­ing fer­tiliser must have a clear plan for en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion that is ap­proved by rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties, he said.

“That will en­able the Gov­ern­ment to con­trol the plan for en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion of in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies be­fore grant­ing li­cences, and there­fore will limit po­ten­tial con­se­quences in case such in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies do not fol­low their com­mit­ments,” Höông said.

Deputy Traàn Thò Haèng from Baéc Ninh Prov­ince raised con­cerns about the im­port of lowqual­ity plant va­ri­eties.

She said there should be reg­u­la­tions to strengthen the in­spec­tion of plant im­ports, and mea­sures that al­low pun­ish­ment when vi­o­la­tions oc­cur. She sug­gested a co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism be­tween man­age­ment bod­ies.

Nguyeãn Hoàng Sôn, di­rec­tor of the Vieät Nam Academy of Agri­cul­tural Sciences, said the Law on Cul­ti­va­tion was ex­pected to cre­ate ef­fec­tive man­age­ment tools for cul­ti­va­tion ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The coun­try’s agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion is still scat­tered; con­nec­tions are not good enough to cre­ate large amount of goods with equal qual­ity,” Sôn said. “We don’t have proper reg­u­la­tions on the ef­fec­tive ex­ploita­tion of land and wa­ter, ei­ther. So reg­u­la­tions that man­age cul­ti­va­tion are es­sen­tial to en­sure sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and move to a large-scale pro­duc­tion model.”

He also said that when the law is ap­proved, lo­cal­i­ties would have to ad­just their pro­duc­tion scale based on the de­mand of the mar­ket. Farm­ers would have to fol­low the ori­en­ta­tion of a cer­tain pro­duc­tion area. This would make it eas­ier for au­thor­i­ties to keep close con­trol on the qual­ity of goods, he said.

Ad­min­is­tra­tive pro­ce­dures in cul­ti­va­tion ac­tiv­i­ties would be re­duced, Sôn said. Th­ese in­clude pro­ce­dures to recog­nise plant va­ri­eties, which would be re­duced from the cur­rent three to seven years pe­riod to be­tween one year and one and a half years. — VNS

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