Contentious contents in the draft law on the special administrative economic units of Van Don Bac Van Phong and Phu Quoc were the centre of discussions among National Assembly deputies on May 23 morning
Most deputies agreed to the need to promulgate the law for the timely institutionalization of Party resolutions and the 2013 Constitution, creating superior and breakthrough mechanisms and policies to stimulate the growth of not only the three special administrative-economic units but also the provinces where the three units are based and the entire country.
The organisation and operation of local administrations and other State agencies at the special zones attracted the attention of many deputies.
Several deputies called for further consideration of a stipulation in the draft law that gives courts of the special zones similar jurisdiction as district courts, and petitions related to administrative decisions and acts of the special zones’ People’s Committees and People’s Committee Chairmen will be handled by provincial courts.
Deputy Nguyen Thi Thuy of Bac Kan province argued that under the stipulation, special zones’ courts are authorized to handle many complicated civilian cases including those related to seizing foreign airplanes, but do not have jurisdiction over administrative cases related to the special zones’ People’s Committees and People’s Committee Chairmen that are at the same administrative level.
She also noted that while the special zones’ People’s Committees and People’s Committee Chairmen are given great power with 44 types of jurisdiction at provincial level, 21 at ministerial level and eight of the Prime Minister, it is not reasonable that the justice organ of the special zones does not have the jurisdiction to handle administrative cases related to the special zones’ People’s Committees and People’s Committee Chairmen.
The deputies proposed that the justice organ of the special zones should be authorized to deal with administrative cases related to the special zones’ People’s Committees and People’s Committee Chairmen.
The model of administration for the special zones as stipulated in the draft law won the approval of most deputies.
Specifically, the People’s Council of a special zone will have no more than 15 deputies with a majority being full-time deputies and without any standing board or supporting units. The People’s Committee will have only one Chairman and two Vice Chairmen. The People’s Council and People’s Committee of a special zone will share a supporting office and specialised units (not more than seven).
However, deputy Nguyen Ngoc Phuong of Quang Binh province asked to reduce the number of papers that require the Chairman of the People’s Committee to sign.
Deputy Vu Thi Luu Mai of Hanoi urged re-considering the stipulation that the Chairman of the People’s Committee of a special zone is authorized to approve investment projects belonging to Category A. She said those projects at present must go through many layers of verification and assessment as they bear great significance to the national economy and security-defence. Caution should be taken when giving such power to an inpidual, she said.
Stipulations on special mechanisms and policies for investment and business activities in the special zones, and investment incentives were also debated at the session.