Vietnam new law allows cities to slap higher fines for traffic, other offences

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Vietnamese lawmakers Wednesday approved new legislation allowing big cities to slap cash fines of up to twice the prescribed national levels for traffic, security, and environmental violations.

The Law of Administrative Punishment, endorsed by nearly 86 percent of members in the National Assembly, gives the five biggest cities Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Da Nang, and Can Tho -- the discretion to double the fines.

Their legislatures get the authority to decide their own fine regimes based on local conditions.

The new law, to take effect in July 2013, keeps the current maximum fines at VND1 billion (US$47,800) for individuals and VND2 billion for organizations.

The Pricing Law was also passed on Wednesday and will again take effect next year, with provisions on keeping prices of gasoline, electricity, children's diary products, sugar, rice, and basic medicines stable.

It allows the government to intervene when the prices of these products rise "abnormally," causing negative impacts on society and the economy.

The government will set price frames for electricity, land, water, forest, house purchase and lease, as well as educational and medical services.

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