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Hanoi vice-Party chief elected as chairman of municipal administration

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Hanoi’s deputy Party chief Chu Ngoc Anh has been elected as chairman of the municipal People’s Committee for the remaining time of the 2016-2021 tenure.

Anh received 100 percent of approval after 95 delegates cast their ballots at the 16th session of the Hanoi People’s Council on Friday morning.

He still holds his position as Minister of Science and Technology.

The prime minister is expected submit a proposal to the National Assembly to relieve Anh from his post as Minister of Science and Technology in November.

On September 18, Anh was named deputy secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee by the Politburo.

Chu Ngoc Anh, 55, was born in Thai Hoa Commune, Ba Vi District, Hanoi.

He was a research fellow and lecturer at the School of Engineering Physics under the Hanoi University of Science and Technology between October 1988 and November 1995.

He was Deputy Minister of Science and Technology from August 2010 until March 2013.

Anh was named deputy secretary of the Party Committee in the northern province of Phu Tho in March 2013. He became chairman of the provincial People’s Committee in May the same year.

He held both positions until September 2015, when Anh returned to the Ministry of Science and Technology as its deputy minister.

Anh has been Vietnam’s Minister of Science and Technology since April 2016.

Also at the Hanoi People’s Council’s 16th session, delegates agreed to dismiss Nguyen Duc Chung from his position as chairman of the municipal People’s Committee.

On August 11, Chung was suspended from work for 90 days according to a decision signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Chung’s suspension was meant for verifying, investigating, and clarifying his responsibilities in relation to a number of cases in accordance with the law.

Hanoi’s permanent vice-chairman Nguyen Van Suu stood in for Chung while he was suspended.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/politics/20200925/hanoi-viceparty-chief-elected-as-chairman-of-municipal-administration/56934.html

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Environmental impact asessment of investment projects highlighted at NA discussion

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Deputies at the 14th National Assembly debated a number of contents of the draft revised Law on Environmental Protection, including the classification of projects basing on impact to the environment, 

the authority of environmental effect assessment, and the issuance of licence for waste release.

Environmental impact asessment of investment projects highlighted at NA discussion hinh anh 1

Chairman of the NA Committee for Science, Technology and Environment Phan Xuan Dung (Photo: VNA)

According to Chairman of the NA Committee for Science, Technology and Environment Phan Xuan Dung, in order to minimise the risk of environmental pollution from investment projects, the bill has two new contents on policies in sorting out the projects basing on their environmental impact, and the integration and promotion of green economic models, circulation economy, low-carbon economy in building and implementation of strategies, plans, programmes, and projects.

The bill also adjusts contents related to the responsibility in directing the response to environmental incidents of central and local agencies as well as the State management responsibility of ministries, sectors, localities, professional organisations as well as relevant individuals, he said.

Regarding the coherence of the bill with other relevant laws, many deputies pointed out that there are still overlapping and incoherence between the bill and other legal documents comprising contents related to environmental protection, including the Law on Biodiversity, Law on Water Resources, Law on Public Investment. 

This may affect the efficiency of State management in environmental protection, they said, stressing the need to continue reviewing and adjusting the bill to avoid confrontation with other laws that were issued after 2014.

Regarding the issuance of environmental licences, many deputies agreed with the option of using a single environmental licence instead of seven, including the admission of wastewater to irrigation work. 

Nguyen Thi Mai Hoa, a representative from the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, said that the simplification of the procedures will save time for enterprises. However, she stressed the need to design a tight procedure and strengthen inspection in the field.

Meanwhile, Thai Binh deputy Pham Van Tuan proposed that it is necessary to classify investment projects basing on environmental impact levels, taking it as a foundation to define the list of projects with risk of posing negative impact to the environment, thus ensuring the coherence of relevant laws. 

Tuan pointed to the need to clarify the criteria for the classification, thus placing the projects to four groups of risks in four levels. 

Over the regulations defining the projects subjected to environmental impact assessment to suit relevant laws, Dung said that the NA Standing Committee has prepared two options. In the first one, all projects must conduct the assessment, while in the other, only those with high risk of causing negative impact to the environmental are subjected to the assessment, he said./.

Legislators debate draft revised Law on Environmental Protection

NA deputies on October 24 said that there should be clearer and more detailed regulations on responsibilities and obligations of organisations, production and business establishments, and individuals in paying fees and taxes on environmental protection.

Giving their comments on the draft Law on Environmental Protection (revised) during the fifth day of the 14th National Assembly (NA)’s 10th sitting held virtually, lawmakers said the amount of money collected to invest in environmental protection is very little.

They attributed the situation to the absence of an appropriate mechanism to mobilise the participation and contribution of organisations and individuals to the protection of the environment, and regulations on the responsibility and obligations of fee payers for environmental protection.

The mechanism for infrastructure investment is mainly based on the voluntary spirit and support of businesses, and there are no specific regulations and legally binding mechanisms, said Vice Chairman of Hai Ha district People’s Committee Tran Viet Dung.

The NA should immediately issue guidance after the law takes effect so as to avoid overlapping tasks, other NA deputies said.

The law should also pay attention to the use of renewable energy sources, resolutely deal low-capacity hydropower plants thatw affect the forest environment, result in floods, and  worsen climate change, they stressed, adding that projects at risk of causing harm to the environment should be carefully examined and verified./. VNA

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/politics/environmental-impact-asessment-of-investment-projects-highlighted-at-na-discussion-683618.html

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PM praises intelligence department for ‘strong solidarity’ to win

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Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Friday grants the first-class National Defence Medal to the General Department of Military Intelligence. — VNA/ Photo

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Friday granted the first-class National Defence Medal to the General Department of Military Intelligence under the Ministry of National Defence to mark its 75th founding anniversary (October 25).

The PM praised the department for fulfilling its responsibilities as a strategic intelligence agency of the Party, the State, the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defence, inheriting the tradition of “being strong, resilient, independent, creative, smart and solidarity to win”.

The unit has inherited and brought into full play the intelligence tradition of its predecessors, learning from global intelligence experience and summarising many valuable experiences through practical activities, deeply absorbed with the teachings of late President Hồ Chí Minh, he said.

To continue its glorious tradition and carry out its tasks, the department’s staff must preserve the special trust and love given by the Party, State and the Army, he said.

Defence intelligence officers need to understand and apply the Party’s directions on military-defence missions to continue to perform well its role as a strategic intelligence agency, he said.

He urged the department to streamline its apparatus to operate a compact, strong, professional, effective and functional system and build a contingent of intelligence officers with political bravery, strategic vision and professional knowledge to take on missions.

The PM believed that with its glorious history and tradition of 75 years along with its existing strengths, the General Department of Military Intelligence would continue to grow and complete all assigned tasks, becoming a key force, living up to the trust of the Party, State, Army and people.

On October 25, 1945, the defence intelligence room under the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army was established. Since then, October 25 has become the traditional day of the national defence intelligence force.

The defence intelligence force made contributions to the national liberation in the wars against French colonialism and American imperialism as well as national construction and protection.

The department was honoured to receive the title of Hero of the People’s Armed Forces in the Đổi Mới (renewal) period, the Gold Star Medal, Hồ Chí Minh medals, the first-class independence medal, first-class military merits medals and the first-class national defence medal, among others.

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/803811/pm-praises-intelligence-department-for-strong-solidarity-to-win.html

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Deputies call for greater access to information on HIV-infected people

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Acting Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long presents a report on the draft amended Law on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control at the National Assembly discussion on Friday. Photo chinhphu.vn

HÀ NỘI  — The majority of lawmakers agreed that the amended Law on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control should increase the number of people who can access information on HIV-infected people at a National Assembly discussion on Friday.

Deputies said doing so would ensure proper treatment, payment of medical examination and treatment costs and prevent infection of those who take care of and treat the patients.

According to Phạm Văn Hòa, a deputy from Đồng Tháp Province, greater information access was essential to prevent infection among parents, wives or caregivers.

However, he underlined the necessity to ensure the confidentiality of information on HIV-infected people so they would not face stigma.

Deputy Triệu Thanh Dung from Cao Bằng Province said adding more people who can access information might negatively impact HIV-infected people.

She cited the results of a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health on 1,800 HIV-infected people which showed 27.8 per cent of them disagreed with this provision due to their fear of information disclosure.

“The wishes and aspiration of people living with HIV/AIDS should be given priority to create the best conditions for treating and caring for them,” Dung said.

Regarding the fund for the treatment and care of HIV/AIDS-infected people, she said it was not necessary to maintain the fund due to a number of limitations relating to its performance.

The fund has mobilised just more than VNĐ5.7 billion (US$ 245,000) over the past 12 years, Dung said.

The main purpose of the fund is to help infected people access HIV/AIDS treatment or care for those in the latter stages of the disease. However, in recent years, its activities have mainly been giving gifts, milk and buying health insurance cards for children with HIV/AIDS aged from six to 15, she said.

Most deputies agreed with amending and supplementing the law.

They said the law should be amended to strengthen the protection and care for people’s health, overcoming the shortcomings of the current law and meeting the requirement of HIV/AIDS prevention and control work.

Many deputies said some provisions of the law were no longer consistent with current practices. There were also conflicts between some related laws on the treatment and care of infected people.

Those shortcomings should be revised soon to ensure consistency and improve the effectiveness of law enforcement, they said.

Presenting a report on the draft law, Acting Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long said Việt Nam has recorded remarkable results in HIV/AIDS prevention and control.

Việt Nam is one of four countries with the best HIV/AIDS treatment in the world along with Germany, the UK and Switzerland, he said.

The country has kept the community HIV infection rate below 0.3 per cent.

According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), since 2000 the country has deployed preventive measures to stop 400,000 people from being infected with HIV and 150,000 received treatment that stopped them dying from AIDS.

Viet Nam has a rate of HIV-infected people receiving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment with a viral load below the inhibitory threshold reaching 96 per cent, contributing to reducing community HIV infection.

Long said despite positive results in HIV/AIDS prevention and control, some shortcomings remain.

The current law still has many limitations, with no specific regulation on who is entitled to access information about HIV-infected people. It failed to create an adequate legal corridor for HIV/AIDS epidemic surveillance and access with a view to providing timely support and treatment for infected people.

He said the revision of the law aimed at realising the target of basically putting an end to the disease by 2030. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/803810/deputies-call-for-greater-access-to-information-on-hiv-infected-people.html

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