Hanoi has good reason to impose taxes and other conditions on its residents in order to stem the flood of immigrants from other parts of the country.
The fourth draft of the Capital Law released on February 11 was an effort to provide a legal framework to limit the number of people who want to become residents of the capital city. But the lawâ€™s 34 clauses failed to make a convincing argument.
The laws did not show how they will help solve the problems caused by outsiders coming in at a much faster pace than the cityâ€™s ability to improve its facilities.
The draft has omitted such rigorous requirements as the person needs to have stayed in Hanoi for at least five years, that his or her salary is at least twice the minimum wage, and he or she needs to get a legal work permit.
It is correct that the drafters listened to the public and made changes to the law. In principle, Hanoi is an administrative unit just like any other city or province. Hence there should be no special rules for becoming a resident in the capital city.
But the reality is that Hanoi is overcrowded and lacks facilities to cater to its current population. What Hanoi needs now is the right to impose special taxes, like large cities in other countries. If one wants to settle in Hanoi, one has to accept the cost.
The Capital Law, like any other law, will only work when it contains sanctions. Otherwise, it will be nothing but an appeal.
In the long term though, we need to find out answers to why people from other cities and provinces rush to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Not everyone is thrilled to leave their family behind to work in the cities, but everyone longs for better chances to get jobs and access a better life.
So the bottom line is that policies are needed to lift up all localities, especially rural areas.
By An Nguyen