Drafting a law on planning, a start to reforming Vietnam’s planning

(VOVworld) – Over the years, Vietnam’s planning has revealed many shortcomings, weakening national economic development. A law on planning is needed to help the government direct socio-economic activities more effectively during the current international integration.

Vietnam has more than 19,000 projects whose planning shortcomings at the central or grassroots level have wasted national resources and hampered investment attraction.

Phan Xuan Dung, head of the National Assembly’s Committee for Science, Technology, and Environment, says a law on planning is needed. “This law revolutionizes planning and has been carefully thought out,” Dung added.

The law on planning combines existing ordinances into a system of planning. It overrides the current haphazard and ineffective circulars and decrees issued by ministries, sectors, and provinces. It will be a tool to settle conflicts between sectors, or provinces toward more sustainable development.

All the current shortcomings are ultimately due to a lack of coordination in the legal system.

Drafting a law on planning, a start to reforming Vietnam’s planning  - ảnh 1
Planning shortcomings at the central or grassroots level are wasting national resources and hampered investment attraction. (Photo: kinhtevadubao.vn)

Nguyen Quang, Director of the UN Habitat Vietnam, said that in developing countries like Vietnam, the law on planning should pay attention to people, not just growth.

Quang called for “removing the subsidy mechanism and make planning more a matter of identifying targets. Continuous evaluation and oversight are needed to adjust the planning to development goals. Our current planning is not based on sustainable development outcomes. Many localities now only focus on economic targets and disregard environmental and social factors.”

According to Nguyen Duc Kien, Deputy Director of the NA Economic Committee, the law should create better conditions for market operation and policies to encourage investment, taxation, and environmental protection. It should also create a detailed mechanism for coordinating implementation.   

He said: “The law respects three missions: the state’s management role, the indispensability of the market economy, and the concern of the social community.”

The law on planning defines a planning system that coincides with the national master-plan. It is one stage of the national strategy on socio-economic development and will be a bridge to the national development plan in later years.


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