NA committee opposes VND2-billion fines for civil offences
  • | | October 13, 2011 09:06 PM

The National Assembly (NA) Law Committee said the maximum proposed fines of VND2 billion (USD96,000) for civil offences is too high and can result in many problems.

Environmental violations can face high fines

Minister of Justice Ha Hung Cuong on October 12 presented the draft Law on Administrative Punishment to the NA Standing Committee for consideration.

Fines applied to individuals or organisations which violate legal regulations on state management, but whose violations are not serious enough to be prosecuted as criminals.

Under the draft law, the minimum fine is proposed to be raised to VND50,000 (USD2.4) from the current VND10,000 (USD0.48) as regulated according to the Ordinance on Administrative Punishment revised in 2008. Meanwhile, the maximum level would be raised four-fold, from the current VND500 million (USD24,000) to VND2 billion.

Chairman of the NA Law Committee Phan Trung Ly said if only the fine was increased, and there wasn’t a sufficient amount of education and publicity work conducted on the issue, then the new fines could cause additional problems, pushing offenders into more extreme measures to avoid detection.

Ly also added that the VND2-billion fine was not in line with the level stipulated in the Criminal Code. The code states the highest fine for a person that destroys forested land is just VND100 million (USD4,800), but the figure could reach up to VND2 billion in the draft law. He urged the committee to clarify the setting of the level of fines.

“Other strict measures should be taken besides fines. For example, for illegal construction work, a warning should be issued but the investor must destroy the offending construction. That would be much better than imposing a high fine,” Ly highlighted.

In the draft law, the Government has proposed applying higher fines for traffic, environment and urban management violations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. However, the fines should not be more than twice as high as average levels applied nationwide.

However, the proposal faced some opposition, with some delegates complaining that this would lead to inequality between authorities who have the same power being allowed to impose different fines for the same violations.

After the first assessment from the NA Standing Committee, the draft law will be discussed at the third session of the 13th National Assembly.

Leave your comment on this story