Gov't leans towards closing grassroots level legislative bodies

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The government is considering a plan to completely abolish legislative people's councils at district and commune levels as they are no longer necessary, says Minister of Home Affairs Tran Van Tuan.
The councils at all levels have been operating efficiently for many years, but they are not needed below the provincial level in the current situation, Tuan said in an interview published by the Vietnam Economic Times Sunday.
Vietnam in April 2009 launched a pilot project to remove grassroots councils in 10 cities and provinces. According to the Home Affairs Ministry, the project has helped save a great deal of time and money by simplifying the administrative apparatus.
In case it takes more time to remove all the district and commune councils, the government will expand the pilot project to more provinces, Tuan said.
He said there have been concerns that closing these councils may create a gap in oversight, but the problem can be solved by encouraging higher government bodies to increase interaction with local people.
The interview was conducted on the sidelines of a national conference this weekend where officials discussed the performance of people's councils as well as the people's committees.

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