VN, Thailand to jointly fight transnational crime

VN, Thailand to jointly fight transnational crime

Co-operation between local and international crime prevention units is essential for combating transnational crimes, especially when the ASEAN Community is established in 2015, director of the People's Police Academy Lieutenant General Nguyen Xuan Yem said at a conference in Ha Noi today.

The conference was jointly organised by the People's Police Academy of Viet Nam and the Royal Police Cadet Academy of Thailand for the two countries to share experience in combating transnational crimes in the context of the establishment of the ASEAN Community.

The ASEAN Community will allow the free flow of labour among ASEAN countries, causing challenges to governments in dealing with transnational crimes.

The two police academies agreed to work together to enhance the capabilities of law enforcement agencies.

Human trafficking, smuggling of drugs and environmental crimes are among the top transnational crimes reported in Viet Nam and Thailand.

NA discusses high-school curricula reform

Deputies debated a project on reform of high-school curricula and textbooks at their discussion during the 13th National Assembly’s ongoing eighth session on November 11.

They also exchanged opinions on the draft Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents.

Earlier that day, lawmakers discussed several points of the draft Law on Management and Use of State Capital in Production and Business, focusing on the principles of investment, management and use of State capital in enterprises, and the competence of company leaders in capital mobilisation, investment, construction, and asset selling and purchasing.

On November 12, the legislature is expected to consider the draft Law on Labour Safety and Hygiene, the draft revised Law on the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the draft revised Law on Military Service.

Legislators debate draft bill on State capital management and use

Lawmakers at the 13th National Assembly (NA) on November 11 discussed the current draft of the Law on Management and Use of State Capital in Production and Business, as part of their ongoing eighth session.

The law aims to increase the efficiency of State capital investments in enterprises, expedite the restructuring of State-owned enterprises (SOEs), and prevent corruption and waste.

According to deputies Tran Xuan Hoa, Ngo Van Minh, Tran Hoang Ngan, and Truong Van Vo – from Quang Ninh, Quang Nam, Ho Chi Minh City , and Dong Nai, respectively – the law seeks to eliminate ministry and sector governing mechanisms, ultimately separating business ownership and State management of enterprises. They proposed establishing a central agency to supervise and manage all State capital invested in SOEs.

Focusing on the principles of investment, management, and use of State capital at enterprises, Hanoi deputy Pham Huy Hung suggested the law should specify detailed principles designed to ensure SOEs are equal in competition and partnership with businesses in other economic sectors.

Meanwhile, Do Van Ve, representative of Thai Binh, highlighted the importance of strengthening management and monitoring of State capital within enterprises, which he considers an essential component to the restructuring of SOEs. He also proposed increasing SOEs’ self-management during their operations, alongside the decline of administrative interference from State governing bodies to SOEs.

Simultaneously, Dong Nai deputy Truong Van Vo emphasised the need to strengthen the role of the NA in supervising the use of State capital in production and business. He suggested the law clearly state and define the authority of the NA and NA bodies in the allocation of State capital to SOEs, while detailing the inspection and examination over the management and use of State capital invested in production and businesses.

Vietnam, Cuba holds second Party theory seminar

The Communist Parties of Vietnam and Cuba held the second theory seminar in Cuba’s capital Havana on November 10, with a focus on the parties’ role in updating socio-economic models in Cuba and the Doi Moi (renovation) in Vietnam.

Opening the event, the head of the Cuban delegation Valdes Mesa, Politburo member and Vice President of the State Council, emphasised the seminar’s significance as an opportunity for the two parties to share theoretical and practical viewpoints with a view to enhancing the parties’ role in perfecting socialism in each country.

The Cuban official noted that the Communist Party of Cuba (CPC) has made economic development its key goal since the party’s sixth congress in 2011. The congress adopted Social and Economic Guidelines, laying the foundation for a roadmap on updating the socialist socio-economic development model.

He added that the CPC’s first national conference in January 2012 also focused on making objective assessments of Party work and defining the party’s goals in the spirit of reform, willing to make any necessary change to meet the requirement of the new situation in the cause of socialism building.

On the basis of the guidelines and in this spirit, the CPC has led the country to embark on the road of modernizing the national socio-economic model along the set direction of protecting and developing prosperous and sustainable socialism in Cuba, affirming social ownership of basic means of production while recognizing the role of non-State forms of management, Valdes Mesa said.

He reported that Cuba has entered a new stage in implementing the Social and Economic Guidelines with more complicated and greater policies, but all steps will be made in a cautious and steady manner to ensure discipline and prevent any gaps that can result in mistakes and a deviation from the set goals.

He added that the Council of Ministers has also adopted a long-term socio-economic development plan with a strategic vision to 2030 with the goal of mobilizing all resources for the sustainable development of the national economy.

Meanwhile, the head of the Vietnamese delegation Tran Quoc Vuong, Secretary of the Party Central Committee and Office Chief of the Party Central Committee, presented an overview of the nearly 30 years of the Doi Moi cause in Vietnam, which was initiated by the Communist Party of Vietnam at its 6th National Congress in 1986. He stressed that Vietnam has reaped historical achievements in socialism building and national defence, rising above socio-economic crisis and the under-developed status and pushing ahead with industrialisation and modernization in parallel with developing the knowledge-based economy.

He went on to say that at the same time, socialist democracy has been promoted and expanded; the national great unity has been strengthened and enhanced; the building of a strong Party, a law-governed State and the political system has been promoted; national independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity as well as the socialist system have been firmly protected; external relations have been increasingly expanded and deepened, thus elevating Vietnam’s position and prestige in the international arena.

The Vietnamese party official stated that those achievements have created important prerequisites for the country to continue with its Doi Moi policy and enjoy further development in the time ahead, while testifying to the correctness of the Party’s policy and the fact that the path to socialism chosen by Vietnam suits the country’s conditions and the trend of the era.

The two delegations are expected to deliver more reports and exchange opinions on a range of issues important to Cuba’s efforts to update its economic model and Vietnam’s Doi Moi cause.

Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia share auditing experience

Leaders of the state audit agencies from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia gathered at their sixth meeting in Vientiane, Laos on November 11 to share experience in the application of the International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI).

The Vietnamese delegation was led by Prof. Dr. Doan Xuan Tien, Deputy Auditor General of the State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV).

At the event, participants discussed ISSAI contents and agreed to build and issue the auditing standards and implement the ISSAI in line with each country’s practice.

The Vietnamese delegation shared eight lessons on the ISSAI application, stressing that enhancing the state audit capacity in applying ISSAI is a strategic breakthrough that reflects the SAV’s determination to improve its operations.

Vietnam’s lessons were appreciated by Laos and Cambodia as well as other sponsors, especially in the context of integration towards an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.

The next meeting will be held in Vietnam in 2015.

Tax policy adjustments needed to boost production, Government revenue

Reforming tax policies to facilitate enterprises and increase Government income was the issue of concern for National Assembly (NA) deputies and voters at the ongoing 13th NA eighth session.

A majority of NA deputies agreed that amendments to current tax laws aimed to support the development of the agricultural sector, create the best conditions for taxpayers, and accelerate administrative innovation aligned with the international trend of tax reforms.

Many deputies also shared the same concern that despite preferential policies on taxes in the past years, there were few businesses investing in the agricultural sector. The State has engaged in several related programmes but the outcomes have been unsatisfactory. Thus, it requires more effective solutions to the amendments to tax policies to promote investment in agriculture, famers, and rural areas.

At the working session discussing revisions to tax laws, the Government suggested more corporate income tax incentives to enterprises investing in agriculture and rural areas, supporting industries and in large projects with more than VND12 trillion (US$564 million).

But a large number of deputies recommended the Government be cautious about providing additional incentives to large-scale projects in industrial and agricultural sectors as there have been proven flaws in attracting ODA capital for such projects.

They also advised the Government give incentives to projects applying high technology, modern management process, and to those already involved in the global added value chain.

Priority should be given to foreign investors affiliating with or making technology transfers to domestic enterprises as it will help increase localisation rates and raise the national values. NA deputies also suggested more concrete regulations on high technologies which will be given incentives to prevent outdated technology.

Almost all NA deputies agreed with the Government's proposal on increasing the tax imposed on tobacco from 65% to 70% as of January 2016 and from 70% to 75% from January 2019 onward.

They explained that Vietnam is among the top 15 countries with the highest smoking rate and teenagers can easily by cigarettes at low prices. The tax increase is expected to change the habit of smoking and help reduce the consumption of tobacco products.

Other NA deputies said that the tax rates proposed by the Government were still lower than the rate set out in the Law on Prevention and Control of Tobacco Harm.

Deputies Lo Van Muon from Dien Bien and Nguyen Minh Quang from Hanoi argued that the tax rates on tobacco products should be lifted higher to between 85% and 90% to restrain consumers from using the harmful product.

However, many deputies raised their concerns over tobacco smuggling following a tax increase. The problem is if there is any effective measure to prevent tobacco smuggling, which will cause losses to domestic business and production.

Regarding tax rates on casinos and betting business, many NA deputies proposed higher tax rates on these types of businesses to limit its development and increase income to the Government. It was advised to raise the tax rate on casinos from 30% to 40% and on betting business to 35%.

Other deputies recommended a higher tax on alcohol to reduce consumption and protect health, contributing to ensuring traffic safety, social order, and preventing domestic violence as well as increasing Government revenue.

IPU Secretary General hails Vietnamese NA’s development

Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Martin Chungong has praised Vietnam’s great contributions to the organisation’s activities, especially its efforts in promoting links with other member parliaments in the world.

During a recent interview with Vietnam News Agency’s correspondents in Geneva, Switzerland, Chungong expressed his deep impression on achievements made by the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) over the last 30 years.

He said Vietnam’s legislature has issued many important laws, especially the 1992 Constitution, which asserted the people’s democracy and social management in accordance with the Constitution and law.

It has also worked to perform its supreme supervision right in enforcing the Constitution and law, as well as inspect the State apparatus’ management in all aspects, he added.

Since its first general election in 1946, the Vietnamese NA has boasted many experience in law making that it can share with its foreign counterparts, Chungong noted. However, he suggested that Vietnam work harder and learn from experience from other countries in order to develop further in the future.

According to the IPU leader, Vietnam’s legislative body has held key positions in the Union and its relevant agencies, and operated actively for IPU’s goals, including promoting peace and development, and protecting rights of woman and children.

Chungong stressed that hosting the 132nd IPU Assembly in 2015, Vietnam will create an important forum for parliamentarians and member parliaments to discuss the post-2015 development strategy.

The event will also help raise the voice of Asian nations in IPU as well as provide a good chance for the host to introduce its new development and progress in democracy promotion and parliamentary management to international friends.

high-school curricula reform, State capital management, legislators, Cuba, Laos, Cambodia, Tax policy, transnational crime