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Forestry reforms necessary

Update: March, 29/2014 - 08:59

Deputy Director of the Reform Steering Committee and Enterprises Development Pham Quoc Doanh spoke to Thoi bao Ngan hang (Banking Times) newspaper about agri-forestry restructuring.

What is the driving force behind the restructuring of State-owned forest enterprises (SFEs) under the Party Resolution No. 30 issued on March 12, 2014?

A key point of view behind the Resolution No. 30 is to restructure State-owned agriculture and forest enterprises in line with the country's policy to restructure the State-owned enterprises and its strategy on national socio-economic development. A key objective of the document is to tighten the control and to improve the efficiency of land use as well as to define the rights and obligations of the land managers and users. The other objective of the document is to create a basic change in the management and administration of State-owned agriculture and forest enterprises towards achieving the goal of high efficacy in their production and businesses and ensuring harmonisation between the interests of the nation, the enterprises, and the farmers.

However, in reality, the SFEs are assigned various missions, including forest management, production business, and protecting the forest land. So, how will these tasks be resolved in the Resolution No. 30?

Following the restructuring, the SFEs that are specialised in forest protection and special use forest will become forest management units, and they will operate as State-owned units with self-balancing set of accounts. Meanwhile, the SFEs managing production forests and commercial forests, including the planted forests and natural forests, will be changed into forestry companies. They will operate under the Law on Enterprises.

However, units which are assigned the task of undertaking many non-profit public interest missions and forest protection activities, will become forest management units or public utilities.

For agriculture companies located in remote areas that are assigned the mission of ensuring national defence and security will remain State-owned enterprises.

What will happen to companies that are practising "to rent land and get land rent?"

The Resolution has clearly stated that all companies that have been operating in losses for many years and applied the method "to rent land and get land rent" will be dissolved. The land will then be returned to the local authorities for management and used as written in the laws. If any disputes arise, they will be settled by the local authorities.

The Resolution also mentions the establishment of a limited company with two members. Will you please further elaborate on that?

The nature of this type of company is the combination of agriculture and forest companies with a processing company. The objective of that limited company is to link the raw material production areas with the processing company. This model has been proven to be highly successful in some localities. A case in point is the Lam Son Sao Vang Company, which is a joint venture between the Lam Son Sugar Company and the Sao Vang State Farm.

The return of land from dissolved companies to local authorities for management has raised concerns among many people about a possibility of land manipulation by a certain group of people. Don't you think so?

Yes, we have thought of that. Quite a few people want the state farms to be dissolved. Hence, we have carefully looked into each case to avoid any unfair land allocation to the people when the state farms or SFEs are dissolved.

We will try to ensure that the land will only be allocated to real foresters in a fair and transparent manner. The allocated land will be based on the existing average area per capita in that locality. — VNS


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