Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh has urged the National Assembly not to criminalise economic and civil relations as the legislature discussed changes to the Penal Code on June 16.

Minister Vinh said he supports the removal of two crimes, doing illegal business and intentionally violating State regulations on economic management, from the current Penal Code, considering them as obstacles to economic development.

He reiterated the spirit of the 2013 Constitution in which citizens are allowed to be involved in any business not banned by law which was concretised in the new Investment Law adopted last year reducing the number of banned trades from 51 to just six.

He said that the inclusion of the two crimes are impeding business innovations and discouraging investors from pouring money into new potential investment opportunities.

The minister added that however open the economic laws are, no one can do business if the criminal law is restrictive and obscure, emphasising that this matter is crucial to the wealth and development of the country.

In other matters, the majority of NA deputies endorsed limiting capital punishment in three areas: reducing offences punishable by death, imposing stricter conditions on death sentences and increasing the number of exemptions for those on death row.

According to draft amendments, seven crimes will be removed from the current list of 22 crimes subject to capital punishment, including undermining peace, provoking conflict and international war; and crimes against humanity as well as war crimes.

However, deputy Bui Ngoc Chuong from Ca Mau province stated that the above-mentioned crimes should not be removed as they are extremely serious and must be punished in line with the seriousness of the crime.

A number of deputies also asked to retain drug trafficking in the capital punishment list as removing it will encourage immoral acts and open the way for drugs to be trafficked into the country.



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