LookAtVietnam – Traffic congestion and online gaming took the spotlight at a question and answer session at the 22nd session of the National Assembly Standing Committee on August 14.
Minister of Transport Ho Nghia Dung was the first one to take the floor in response to queries concerning the operation of toll stations, traffic congestion in big cities and sluggish progress in executing transport works.
Deputy Chu Son Ha from Ha Noi asked the minister why ring road 3 in Ha Noi remained unfinished after eight years of implementation.
Dung said part of the project, the section linking My Dinh with Linh Dam Peninsula, was nearly complete.
The remaining 380m-section at Thanh Xuan bottleneck needed to be re-designed because it overlapped with a sky train project, he said.
According to the minister, ring road 3 project had to be readjusted because it had been approved too early, in 2001.
He also said the ministry was authorised to make the changes.
In response to a query from deputy Nguyen Thi Hoa from Ha Noi about how to ensure traffic safety for people when constructing roads, Dung said it was a requirement for project investors.
However, he added, lack of co-ordination among different sectors during implementation, including power, water supply and drainage or telecommunications, resulted in slow progress and public inconvenience.
Dung also said the National Highway 32, a particularly sluggish project, was handled by the Ha Noi People’s Committee.
The ministry were working with the locality to seek measures to speed up its process, he said.
Dung also agreed with deputy Vu Quang Hai from the northern province of Hung Yen that the maintenance and upgrade of transport work within Rural Transport 2 Project had not been given due heed.
He admitted the problem was common to the entire rural transport network nation-wide.
Some transport routes, after being built, were under management of localities, who did not maintain or repair in a timely manner, leading to being degraded or damaged, Dung said.
To address the issue, the ministry had asked local authorities to set aside part of their budget for the roads’ maintenance and upgrade.
Some deputies, including Le Quang Binh from the central province of Thanh Hoa, Trinh Thi Nga from the central coastal province of Phu Yen and Tran Tien Canh from the northern province of Ha Nam, asked the minister about the operation of toll stations.
Dung said the ministry had not set up any new toll stations apart from those approved by the Prime Minister.
However, problems still remained at some toll stations, he said.
The ministry were mulling over how to rally more investment from various economic sectors for road toll projects and amend regulations related to toll rate to ensure mutual benefit for both investors and the public.
Regarding enquiries concerning traffic congestion in Ha Noi and HCM City, the minister said the Government had issued Resolution 16 to ease jams at the two big cities.
The ministry had conducted various programmes in co-operation with municipal authorities to carry out the resolution and gained remarkable results.
After Dung’s answers, NA Deputy Chairman Huynh Ngoc Son asked the transport ministry to continue improving legal documents related to transport; enhance the traffic order management in Ha Noi and HCM City and work with other ministries to resolve site clearance and reduce traffic accidents.
Minister of Information and Communications Le Doan Hop answered queries relating to the ministry’s State management responsibility in controlling the internet, online games, television programmes and the granting of wireless frequency.
Regarding online games, Hop said regulations were in place to stipulate responsibility of enterprises in providing online games, Internet kiosks, of the players and authorised bodies.
The task was how to tightly control playing time, he said.
Though the ministry had guided localities on enhancing management of suppliers of online games, adopted technical measures and raised responsibilities of families, schools and society on the issue, the ministry were at fault for not implementing it properly, the minister said.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh suggested his ministry should be involved in the management of online games.
Turning to how to control information on the internet, Minister Hop said it was a hard job because servers were based in foreign countries.
A number of legal documents were available in controlling information on the internet, but most of them were newly put into use, so it was still too early to review how effective they were.
Some deputies raised the issue of new circular that said each individual was allowed to register maximum three phone simcards from one provider from August 10.
There were now up to seven mobile phone providers, and control over spam messages was weak, making implementation of the plan difficult.
Hop admitted this was a problem and said he hoped to resolve it soon when the Ministry of Public Security finished storing pre-paid phone users’ ID information on electronic database.
Minister of Public Security Le Hong Anh said careful steps were needed to build up e-database management, to verify registered information, alternative stiff measures should be worked out, probably using ID cards when buying new simcards.
In response to questions on how to manage budget from paid television channels, the adjustment of broadcasting frequency in localities and excessive ‘prime time’ spent on movies, Hop said paid TV channels contributed hundreds of billion dong to the State budget annually.
He also said most of local broadcasting stations properly used the right channels, frequency and provided programmes with good quality.
Hop, however, conceded local stations dedicated too much time to feature films, partly due to their weak capacity in producing on-the-spot programmes.
The ministry would tackle the issue in the coming time, he said.
Closing the Q&A session, NA Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong said this was the fourth of its kind at meetings of the NA Standing Committee.
He said it was a proper policy and issues raised at the sessions were realistic.
Trong, however, urged for shorter and concise questions and answers in the future.
The draft post law was also discussed at the meeting yesterday.
Most of the deputies said the draft law had been carefully composed. Some, however, were concerned about how to separate private and public postal services.
Deputy Phung Quoc Hien, Chairman of the Finance and Budget Committee, said the State had assigned the post sector to exploit public postal services based on State funding and that had offered too much privileges for enterprises.
“I’m afraid this would create unequal business environment,” Hien said.
Turning to service fees, Minister Hop said the post sector would strive to eliminate subsidies by 2013.
Until then, the sector would lay out a roadmap on adjusting service fees. All postal enterprises would follow the market mechanism to ensure healthy competitiveness.
The draft law will be submitted to the sixth NA session to be held in November. It is expected to get approval at the 7th session in May, 2010.