Deputy Do Thi Lan of Quang Ninh province speaks at the the National Assembly's discussion on November 22 (Photo: VNA)
The Government decided to develop three special administrative-economic units -
Van Don in northern Quang Ninh province, Bac Van Phong in central Khanh Hoa
province, and Phu Quoc Island in southern Kien Giang province.
National Assembly (NA) deputies agreed on the need to issue the law, adding that to create breakthrough development for these special zones and to ensure their competitiveness, the law could stipulate preeminent mechanisms and policies different from existing laws.
However, any differences need to conform with the Constitution while ensuring defence-security and the rights of local residents, they noted.
One option proposed in the draft law is to not establish People’s Councils and People’s Committees in the special units. Instead, the Prime Minister would appoint chiefs of these zones, and they would have authority to decide and organise all administrative and socio-economic activities in their respective units.
The other option is organising local administrations comprising People’s Councils and People’s Committees, as per normal localities.
A number of deputies supported the first option, saying that it creates a special apparatus for the special units’ administration.
Deputy Thach Phuoc Binh from Tra Vinh province advocated the appointment of chiefs of special administrative-economic units, noting that self-reliance and self-management are the soul of special administrative-economic units. However, he did point out the draft mechanism to control the power of the chiefs is vague and needs to be detailed.
Meanwhile, deputy Nguyen Thai Hoc from Phu Yen province noted the selection of the chiefs would be crucial, as success or failure depends on personnel work. The mechanism for selecting the chiefs must be open and transparent so as to choose capable and visionary leaders.
Nguyen Thi Le Thuy, a legislator representing Ben Tre province, said the apparatus of the special units’ as the first option will help pilot reforms and be in line with some international practices.
Deputy Pham Van Hoa from Dong Thap province said in the first option, although the chiefs are given authority, they are bound by too many restrictions. They would be monitored by provincial People’s Councils and provincial committees of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, and report to chairpersons of provincial People’s Committees when necessary.
Therefore, he supported the second option, which is setting up People’s Committees and People’s Councils in the special administrative-economic units, but adding that the power of these agencies should be streamlined.
The discussion was part of the ongoing fourth session of the 14th NA in Hanoi.