Minister of Home Affairs Le Vinh Tan has pointed out problems in the status of district- and commune-level administrative units, noting that over 80 percent of these units do not meet criteria in terms of area and population.
The ministry held a national conference on August 9 to collect opinions on a draft master plan on re-organising district- and commune-level administrative units from now to 2021.
Minister Tan said the merger and division of administrative units in the past have brought about certain positive outcomes, including helping to boost socio-economic development, urbanisation and the efficiency of the state apparatus. They have also helped ensure defence-security, social order and safety, and people’s living standards.
However, the increase in the number of administrative units at different levels has led to increasingly cumbersome state apparatus and expanded payroll. The division of administrative units has also caused many hindrances in making development directions, broke up the development space, and made local resources and potential scattered.
He noted that 588 of the total 713 district-level units (82.47 percent), and 9,434 of the 11,162 commune-level units (84.51 percent) do not meet criteria in area and population stipulated in Resolution 1211/2016/UBTVQH13 of the National Assembly Standing Com
The draft under discussion aims to re-organise the administrative units that do not meet 50 percent of both the area and population criteria by 2021. It looks to complete the work for all ineligible units between 2022 and 2030.
However, the plan do not recommend the reshuffle of ineligible units with particular characteristics, such as those which stand isolated from other localities, have history of formation and stable development since before 1945, or have particular religious, customs, cultural identities that could negatively impact security, defence and social order if they are merged with others.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh supported the target for 2021 in the draft, adding that it is also necessary to take into account other specific factors like geographical conditions, history, culture and customs of local communities before carrying out re-organisation.
He also stressed that according to the 2013 Constitution and the law on organisation of local governments, public opinions must be collected before adjusting administrative boundary, and only when over 50 percent of local voters support the reshuffle can the adjustment be submitted to authorised agencies for consideration.