Famous law firm, Deputies discuss changes to law on disaster prevention, control
National Assembly deputies met yesterday, June 6, in the capital to discuss proposed changes to Viet Nam's Law on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.
The financial and human resources available to successfully implement the law were among the subjects breached during a session that saw both agreement and some debate.
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Most lawmakers felt that a fund should be established to support disaster prevention and control, but there was disagreement about where the money should come from.
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Dinh Thi Phuong Khanh, representing the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Long An, agreed with a proposal to make it compulsory for citizens to contribute to the fund through a fee, stating that this would heighten the feeling of responsibility among individuals for keeping their communities as safe as possible during natural disasters.
"I do not think that donations alone from organisations and individuals will ever be enough to cover the cost of disaster prevention and control activities, so it has to be compulsory," she said.
Le Van Hoang from central Da Nang City took the opposite view, arguing that a compulsory fund would set a precedent that could lead to unfair fee, Labour and employment lawyer
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Trieu La Pham, representing the northern province of Ha Giang, urged for disadvantaged people to be exempt from paying any fees.
In regards to human resources required to keep the country safe from natural disasters, deputy Pham Thi My Ngoc from northern Ninh Binh Province highlighted the role that must be played by the local military forces, public security officials and militia, Vietnam company law
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Tran Duong Tuan from the southern province of Ben Tre suggested that social organisations, such as the Red Cross, Youth Union and groups of local teachers and students, be given some responsibilities.
Later in the discussions some deputies recommended additional regulations to support disaster insurance firms and enterprises operating in disaster-prone areas. They stated that the revised law should require businesses and contractors to buy insurance for their constructions and projects.
Meanwhile, it was proposed that those who indirectly cause losses to organisations and individuals, through inaccurate forecasts and warnings about imminent disasters, be administratively punished and potentially face criminal responsibility.
Lawmaker Huynh Van Tinh from southern Tien Giang Province called for more recognition to be given to those who lose their lives in the act of directly limiting the impacts of natural disasters.
"Those who are injured should receive future support and those who die, Vietnamese translation
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Most of the deputies agreed with the name of the law, concurring that it comprehensively covered all aspects of the regulated activities and the active nature of responding to natural disasters.
In the afternoon, the legislators met into groups for discussions about the draft bidding law and draft law on financial, Apartment in hochiminh
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Vietnam wins $3.75 billion int'l court case
Vietnam has won a high profile lawsuit in which South Fork Ltd Company of the US sued the Binh Thuan provincial People’s Committee for an indemnity of US$3.75 billion for costs and expenses it spent on its project.
South Fork was licensed by the Vietnam Ministry of Planning and Investment in 2004 to invest in a tourist park in Hoa Thang Commune, Bac Binh District, Binh Thuan Province.
In the first phase, the provincial People’s Committee handed over more than 330ha of land to the US firm and asked the investor to complete its legal capital over three months.
It also said it would revoke the investment license in the following five months unless the project got off the ground, even though the investor proved it had completed the legal capital.
During an inspection in Mid 2010, the provincial People’s Committee found development or construction of the project had not begun.
Thanh Nien News Wire reported in 2007 the provincial committee licensed Duong Lam Joint Stock Company to exploit titanium on 120ha of the aforementioned project following an agreement between South Fork and Duong Lam.
However, the US firm later stopped its project on land grant excuses and sued the provincial committee to the International Court of Justice, represented by US law firm Dardenne & Boyd.
The land allocated for the project is currently vacant, and Duong Lam Company is also not allowed to carry out its titanium exploitation project there.
Late last year the International Court of Justice overruled South Fork’s lawsuit and asked the US firm to pay the Vietnamese side’s court fees, including arbitration fees and other expenses.
This is the first international investment lawsuit Vietnam has won through negotiations with the International Court of Justice, helping to honour Vietnam’s investment climate, said a Ministry of Justice representative at a conference in Hanoi on January 18.
Vietnam wins the coffee battle by using laws
From June 7, foreign invested enterprises would lose the right to collect coffee directly from farmers. It’s clear that by laying down the policy, the state aims to protect domestic companies. However, the policy may harm farmers.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) now collect up to 60-70 percent of the total coffee output in Vietnam, about 1.3 million tons.
The Circular No. 08 which has been issued by the ministry stipulates that the FIEs licensed to export products can only buy materials from Vietnamese businessmen, who have business certificates or the right to import products and distribute goods, for export, while they cannot develop the collection networks of their own.
Meanwhile, Dao Loc Binh, MA, from the Le Hoang Law Firm in Can Tho City, said that the Vietnamese laws do not prohibit FIEs to buy goods directly from farmers to make finished products, process and export the products.
FIEs are only prohibited to buy products directly from farmers for export without any processing.
Therefore, Binh affirmed that the Circular No. 08 absolutely comes in line with the Vietnamese laws and the commitments Vietnam made when joining WTO.