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Draft state property law to be developed by expert committee

Ry Sochan / Khmer Times Share:
The Permanent Committee of the National Assembly holds a meeting to discuss three agendas yesterday. National Assembly

A draft law on state property management, which was reviewed by the National Assembly at the request of the government, has now been handed over to an expert committee to further study.

The review was finalised yesterday at a meeting held by the National Assembly permanent committee, led by President Heng Samrin.

A statement by the committee said: “We have agreed to hand over the draft law to the Economic, Financial, Banking and Audit Committee of the National Assembly for review, whose findings will then be reported back to the National Assembly permanent committee.”

National Assembly secretary-general Leng Peng Long told Khmer Times yesterday that the draft law was already submitted to the National Assembly’s expert committee and it is the privilege of the committee to further study, discuss and consult with relevant stakeholders, the public and ministries to continue its development.

On July 3, the Council of Ministers adopted the draft law, which contains 12 Chapters and 90 Articles at its meeting led by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

A Council of Ministers’ statement said on July 3 the law is based on Article 58 of the 1993 Cambodian Constitution.

This article states that “state property includes land, underground, mountains, seas, seabed, undersea, under-seabed, beach, air spaces, islands, rivers, creek, lakes, tributaries, forests, natural resources, economic and cultural centres, national defence bases and other buildings are designated as state-owned and managed by Cambodian law.”

The statement said the draft law is designed to strengthen the legal framework, institutional structure and enhance the institutional capacity in managing state assets.

“This includes identifying types of state asset sources, strengthening legal systems, managing property and inventory of state property, transfer of asset tenure, development, use of state property, inspection and audit, incentives and penalties for violations of the law regarding such,” the statement added.

Executive director of Transparency International Cambodia Pech Pisey told Khmer Times yesterday that the formation of the law on state property is a positive move because the Kingdom does not yet have such specific laws covering the matter.

“The expert committee of the National Assembly should oversee this law as it is very important for national policy,” he said.

“State property management is very important because it is a collective asset shared by citizens and the government. The national assembly should oversee the law and ensure it is fine-tuned to a high standard, is transparent, accountable, responsible, in-depth and clear,” he said.

“The national assembly should also urge law enforcement to better implement the law.”

At the meeting yesterday, the National Assembly also reviewed another draft law on commercial gambling which was also adopted by the Council of Ministers at its plenary meeting on July 3.

The statement said this draft law will allow for strict and effective control over casinos and other commercial gaming sectors by setting a minimum investment capital amount for gambling businesses and by demarcating which commercial games are allowed and not allowed.

The statement added the draft law also aims at building institutional capacity and equipping appropriate technology to monitor commercial gambling operations, with strict mechanisms to prevent money laundering and terrorist funding also being considered.

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