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Poor land management wastes public funds

Update: January, 07/2012 - 10:04

HCM CITY— At least VND1.55 trillion (US$76 million) has been used incorrectly in master-planning and land-use activities in six HCM City districts.

"Violations were found in every procedure, from settings, exams, approval and deployment of the master plan, to land-use plans and management," Le Sy Bay, vice head of the Government Inspectorate's Department of Industrial Economy.

During the 2001-2005 period, HCM City did not submit a master plan for land-use, and during the 2006 –2009 period, no district had approved a land-use plan.

From 2001-2010, departments and industries suggested that the city grant and lease land for house construction, public spaces and production activities for 758 projects, covering 5,078 hectares.

"All 758 projects have violated the Land Law 1993. This led to spending a total of VND42 billion for such works," Bay added.

The inspection report also pointed out that master planning for construction was very weak, and that State management in general and construction master planning has been poorly carried out.

For example, the general master plan for the southern urban area was approved by the Prime Minister in 1994, but it has yet to be readjusted.

From 1994 to 2001, the city did decide to readjust several function areas, including public and green spaces, as well as projects, without permission from the Government.

The Department of Planning and Architecture submitted master plans for 169 projects, but 46 of them could not be used and financial waste amounted to VND7.3 billion.

The inspection found that the 30-50 per cent of procedures were delayed at the Natural Resources and Environment Department and related departments.

The report also revealed that during the 2001-2010 period, the city carried out ground clearance and gave unoccupied land to 804 projects with a total of 7,517 hectares. But 69 of those, covering 690 ha, have not paid money for their land-use rights.

Many investors have also tried to submit payments lower that what is required by regulations, according to the report. They do this by giving false figures on land-use rights.

Since 2002, land plots of many projects have been sold, but 60 – 80 per cent of the land has not been used for building.

The inspection team has asked HCM City authorities to withdraw 48 ha of land from poorly operating projects and to take back VND555 billion that was lost by incorrect calculations of land-use rights.

It also asked the authorities to collect VND692 billion from companies that have not paid land-use rights and to impose fines on the delayed payments, which total VND260 billion.

In 2012, Government inspectors will review natural mineral exploitation and management, construction investment, finance, State budget, banking and national goals programmes.—VNS

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