NA’s Standing Committee proposes Gov’t quickly issue COVID-19 prevention master plan

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National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ delivers his speech at the ninth session of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn

HÀ NỘI — Members of the National Assembly (NA)’s Standing Committee have proposed the Government and Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính quickly issue a master programme for COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control for the 2022-23 period.

The master programme should fix issues, including the price of COVID-19 test kits, how to welcome international tourists and how to keep teaching activities going while the number of COVID patients increase, the members said yesterday at the ninth session of the committee.

They made their comments on the report of the Ombudsman Committee, under the National Assembly’s Standing Committee, in February under the chair of NA’s deputy chairman Trần Quang Phương.

At the meeting, the members also called on the Government and Prime Minister Chính to order the Ministry of Health to instruct and create favourable conditions so that COVID-19 self-monitoring patients could easily buy medicines for their treatment and get certificates of recovery from COVID-19.

The members also suggested the Government direct the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Information and Technology to take drastic measures to strictly deal with people who have smuggled COVID-19 test kits and medicines and raised the prices of these items to higher than the permitted price.

The health ministry must control the price to avoid situations where the price of test kits and medicines were raised unreasonably, the members said.

It was already proposed that the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Finance and other ministries find solutions to manage and control the prices of goods and services, such as adjusting gasoline and oil prices, as well as paying more attention to supporting people and businesses.

Chairman of the Ombudsman Committee Dương Thanh Bình presented the report, saying that voters highly appreciated the positive and timely actions of the Party and State in protecting Vietnamese citizens in Ukraine and supporting those who wanted to return to Việt Nam safely.

Voters have complained about increasing gasoline and oil prices, leading to an increase in the prices of goods and services that makes life and production more difficult; as well as the price turmoil of COVID-19 test kits and Molnupiravir, he said.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Phương told the Ombudsman Committee to absorb the comments to complete the report, especially the proposal to issue a master programme for COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control in the period of 2022-23.

Over VNĐ2 trillion saved in State budget

The country has ended the operation of eight district-level administrative units and 561 commune-level administrative units to downsize public staff during the period of 2019-21, saving over VNĐ2 trillion (US$87.5 million) in the State budget expenditure.

The data was revealed on Monday morning at the ninth session of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee, chaired by NA Chairman Vương Đình Huệ, when a report on the initial results of “The implementation of the resolutions of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on the re-arrange administrative units at district and commune levels in the period of 2019-21” was presented.

The report shows that after the resolutions took effect, administrative agencies, agencies of the Party and public non-business units in localities have been reasonably re-arranged, more suitable to the actual conditions of each locality.

Chairman of the NA’s Committee on Legal Affairs Hoàng Thanh Tùng said that the re-arrangement of the apparatus of agencies and organisations in the local political system had met the requirements in the resolutions, contributing to realising the goal of downsizing the public staff as required in the Central Resolution.

Vũ Hồng Thanh, chairman of the NA’s Economic Committee said that it is suggested to pay more attention to the effectiveness of the change.

It should re-arrange administrative units in a reasonable way to exploit the potentials and strengths of each unit, he added.

Thanh also said there also needs to be issue-specific policies for redundant public staff.

He said it has to monitor the re-arrangement of medical units when the capacity of preventive medicine and grassroots health care still has many shortcomings during the pandemic.

Speaking at the meeting, Huệ said the change is based on the criteria of area and population, geographical location, historical circumstances, customs and habits, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic development and national defence and security of each locality.

“The re-arrangement must ensure the consent of the people,” he said.

The ultimate goal is to streamline the apparatus, improve operational efficiency and save money (for the State budget), he said.

He then told the Central Committee of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front and relevant ministries to make additional assessment report about the issue. — VNS

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