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Real estate developers sit on idle land but ask for handout

Update: December, 08/2012 - 09:35

(VNS) Ha Noi Department of Natural Resources and Environment director Vu Van Hau told on-line newspaper VnExpress that developers have let hundreds of hectares sit idle for a decade or more.

Many projects have been in deep sleep for more than a decade, in your opinion what are the reasons behind it?

The first reason is poor land planning. The second is that we chose project owners who didn't have sufficient capacity to implement the projects as promised. In addition, I have to admit that Government's checks on the situation were low quality.

To solve this, my department has to overhaul efforts to correct the situation so that the projects can get up and running as soon as possible. We are prepared to work out measures to help project owners overcome their difficulties.

If they don't have the resources to implement the projects, we'll ask Ha Noi People's Committee to revoke their licences and then organise bids for the land or allocate it for urgent public utilities.

If their licences are revoked, they will complain that they have invested quite a lot of money in the land and now it is washed away. However, they should be blamed for their losses, not City authorities.

They made a mistake right from the beginning. They were hiding away from their financial weaknesses. Now it's high time for them to face reality.

What is the city's plan to overcome these weaknesses?

City authorities will have to find measures to address the problem. This will take time. To find a way out, the first thing we have to do is to sit with project owners to hear how they want us to help them. We have to look at the problem comprehensively and share their difficulties. No doubt, they will ask us to pay compensation. All this must be considered carefully.

Any policies relating to land have to be looked at thoroughly. At present we're consulting the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment about revoking licences because of the delays. However, no laws seem to be covering this grey area at present.

My department has worked as advisor to city authorities in revising the investment law, particularly provisions relating to the selection of project owners with strong financial capacity.

According to a report released by the Ha Noi People's Committee, in 2012 the city was very active with its inspections – and applying sanctions to those found violating land laws, especially through delays. So far, 800ha of land from seven groups has been revoked and nearly 50ha of land belonging to 23 project owners is under review. — VNS

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