Viet Nam News
Trần Vinh Tuyến, Deputy Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee talks to Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper about the city’s resolve to return street pavements to pedestrians.
Will you please explain why HCM City has chosen only Nguyên Văn Chiêm Street and Bách Tùng Park as locations allowing street vending?
There are several reasons for City authorities to have selected the two streets. For example, Nguyên Văn Chiêm is not a main thoroughfare, but has many offices, parks and convenient coffee shops. So the decision to select Nguyễn Văn Chiêm Street as a street vending location is suitable.
Meanwhile, Bách Tùng Diệp Park is a popular venue for people to enjoy its fresh air or go for a stroll.
That’s why for the time being, HCM authorities have selected Nguyễn Văn Chiêm Street and Bách Tùng Park as two areas to pilot street vending.
With this decision, just a hundred households have been given the right to earn a living through street vending. Don’t you think that number is too low?
As I’ve mentioned above, this is a pilot project. Before choosing which households are allowed to open a shop on Nguyễn Văn Chiêm Street, we’ll come up with certain criteria for selection; including making sure the food served is clean and hygienic.
For people selling food in Bách Tùng Diệp Park, the city will give priority to those offering a special delicacy.
By now the city authorities have instructed the People’s Committee in precinct No.1 to find solutions for people who have not been selected to open shops on Nguyễn Văn Chiêm Street or set up stalls in Bách Tùng Diệp Park. We’ll try to help them find spaces in traditional markets. For those who have good expertise in cuisine we’ll try to help them to find a place to open their shops in “Phố Ngon” or on Nguyễn Văn Năm Street.
For people in HCM City, Bạch Đằng Park is a good place for street sellers to earn a living. Why did city authorities decide to close business activities in the park in 2017?
When we talk about a park, the first thought that comes to mind is that it must be an open air and clean space in which people can go for a walk or do exercises. These days, at night time, the park is empty. So how can street vendors make their living there? On the other hand, the park is a very sensitive place and the traffic along Tôn Đức Thắng Street is very heavy. So if a market or fair is held there, it will likely cause traffic jams on Tôn Đức Thắng Street.
According to HCM City’s master plan of development, an underground commercial centre will be built in that area. So if we decide to set up a fair there its operation will be very short.
Why do city authorities not allow street sellers to operate along the walking streets of Nguyễn Huệ and Đồng Khởi?
This area already has a street book seller. And pretty soon, it will have a music corner, flower corner or other activities.
Will people who are allowed to set up street stalls on designated streets have to pay tax on their revenue?
For right now, the local government will advance the payments for the cost of setting up stalls. The stalls’ owners will then pay back the building cost when they make a profit. But paying revenue tax is the duty of all business people. This is written in the law. In the future, if they are successful in their business, they will have to pay some fee for using the road.
All we want to do for the poor at the moment is to help them escape poverty sustainably.
We have instructed the People’s Committees from 24 precincts and districts to conduct a quick investigation to clear street pavements while helping the affected poor people find a place to earn a living.
In which cases will affected people enjoy support from city authorities?
HCM City authorities vow to do their best to make sure that no one in the city will have to go hungry, lack running water, electricity or other essential living conditions. This is our duty! I should say that not only does city administration care for needy people, but also business people and the general public.
I understand that quite a lot of poor people have high self esteem and don’t ask authorities for help. But it’s our duty to find them and support them. It is our tradition “the haves should support the have nots”. — VNS