City governance needs greater latitude: party congress

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Ho Chi Minh City needs more governance leeway as it tries to meet its socio-economic development goals for the next five years, officials said at the ongoing city Party Congress.

Tran Du Lich, deputy head of the southern hub's National Assembly representatives, said the current government model was not ideal for managing such a large city with a booming economy, especially as it seeks major breakthroughs in six key areas: developing infrastructure, reducing flood impacts, limiting environmental pollution, raising the quality of human resources, reforming administrative procedures, and restructuring the economy.

Dang Cong Luan, director of HCMC Department of Home Affairs, said at the Ninth City Party Congress that opened Tuesday that the central government should allow the city to issue its own legal documents pertaining to specific city conditions.

The city should be allowed to raise administrative penalties on violations that are typical to the region, collect fees higher than the general ones, especially toll fees on vehicles entering the city, Luan said.

Phan Minh Tan, director of the city Department of Science and Technology, advised the city to develop funds to support scientific experts, set up more science and technology awards, and simplify administrative procedures to enable scientists (especially those living abroad), to live and work in Vietnam.

Le Thanh Hai, head of the city party unit, said the city aims to raise a per its capita income of US$4,800 in 2015, from $2,800 this year.

Nearly 450 officials at the congress contributed more than VND75 million ($3,850) to assist flood victims in the central region.

The congress ends Friday after selecting officials to attend the Eleventh National Party Congress.

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