|A resettlement area for residents displaced by the development of the Lai Chau Hydropower Plant in Muong Lay Town, northern Dien Bien Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha
HA NOI (VNS)— National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung has said the mechanism for State-regulated land pricing used to calculate compensation for land clearance is intended to gradually resemble market prices.
Speaking at a NA Standing Committee session on the revised Land Law yesterday, Hung said the revised Law would address shortcomings in the current version and reduce complaints, conflicts and corruption relating to land.
Under the draft revision introduced by the Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Nguyen Minh Quang, the State will have the authority to evict people or organisations for the purposes of national security, defence, socio-economic development, public benefit projects or in cases where land is not being used in accordance with land-use certificates.
The revised Law provides that the Prime Minister, National Assembly, NA Standing Committee and municipal and provincial People's Committees are empowered to decide land evictions. Compensation for evicted land users would be decided on the basis of land pricing regulated by provincial authorities at the time of the eviction.
In light of the revised Law, advocates have alleged that land values increase after the evictions and the announcement of major projects, suggesting that compensation should be forward looking and based on appreciated land values rather than lower valuations based on the current use of the land.
The chairman of the NA Economic Committee, Nguyen Van Giau, responded to the claims agreeing land values could increase after State evictions and investment in infrastructure.
"The increased value belongs to the State and would be regulated by the State," he said.
He said that any investment in capital on the land would be incorporated into assessments by local authorities when calculating compensation. He added that in this case the State would not buy the asset but compensation for it.
Phung Quoc Hien, chairman of the NA Financial and Budget Affairs Committee, said limitations needed to be placed on the maximum area of land that each level of government could approve, to avoid massive land evictions.
He urged that there needed to be a joint gain from land evictions for the State, enterprises and people, in an effort to avoid conflict; noting that if land values increased significantly after State investment in infrastructure, the State could share the profits to support evicted persons.
Truong Thi Mai, chairwoman of the NA Social Affairs Committee, said that at present, the law provided support for land evictees in the form of job training and placement, and relocation, but that they were not meeting expectations.
She cited that farmers had been evicted for the development of industrial zones on the condition that enterprises had committed to provide jobs; but that few enterprsies had followed through on the commitment.
Mai said that clearer regulations were needed to clarify the responsibilities of agencies which should provide support services.
Phan Xuan Dung, chairman of the NA Sciences, Technology and Environment Committee, said land users were concerned about equality in the compensation paid, in addition to the disparity in state and market based valuations.
"The revised law needs to regulate the different types of land, the rights they have and what they will get if they are evicted from their land," he said.
The revised Land Law is expected to be adopted after the adoption of the revised 1992 Constitution at the 6th session of the NA in October. It is among few laws that have been submitted for NA debate twice.
In the last NA meeting in June, the revised bill was not adopted, with the compiling board urged to continue its work on refining the law.
Earlier yesterday, NA Standing Committee members accepted a report from the Committee for Deputies' Affairs, confirming the results of the votes of confidence conducted by the NA and people's councils at all levels, had been accurate and transparent.
The positions subjected to the vote included those elected or approved by the NA and people's councils.
According to the report, the results reflected the rating of tasks performance by officials and reflected economic and social progress from the previous two years. The report affirmed that systematic difficulties had affected officials' fulfillment of their tasks.
Of all 47 positions elected or approved by the NA, none received more than 50 per cent of low confidence votes.
So far, all 63 cities and provinces have completed votes at their respective people's councils, with votes being cast for 907 positions. Findings showed 689 high confidence votes and two low confidence votes had been cast.
At the district level, 58 of the 63 cities and provinces had submitted their votes by September 10, with 4,500 of the 6,100 positions receiving more than 50 per cent of high confidence votes. Just 12 received low confidence votes.
At the communal level, nearly 53,000 positions were subjected to the vote, with more than 33,000 attaining high confidence votes.
The NA Standing Committee yesterday discussed the working schedule for the sixth session of the NA's 13th Plenary, which will run from October 21 until December 3.
For the 35 working days, the deputies are expected to discuss important items, including the approval of the amended 1992 Constitution and the revised Land Law.
The session will also allow Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan to relieve his post to take up a new position as the President of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front.
One dead, four injured in shooting spree
A 42-year-old man on Wednesday shot five officials at the headquarters of the People's Committee in northern Thai Binh City, killing one and injuring the rest.
The dead official was Vo Ngoc Dung, deputy director of Thai Binh City's Land Fund Development Centre. He was killed with a bullet from a Colt pistol at about 2pm.
Two of the injured officials, Vu Cong Cuong, 23, and Bui Duc Xuan, 38, were shot in the head. Nguyen Thanh Duong, 38, was shot in his right eye and Pham Thi Lan Anh, 36, received a bullet in her right ear.
The alleged killer, Dang Ngoc Viet, was a resident of Thai Binh City's Ky Ba Ward. He is said to have been upset at officials responsible for land-clearance projects.
Colonel Tran Xuan Tuyet, director of Thai Binh Province's Police Force, said it was likely Viet became angry over a land-clearance project that took over his family's land, offering either money or resettlement.
Viet's family initially agreed to accept money, but then changed their mind and requested to accept the land instead.
The killer later shot himself.
Investigative agencies have yet to issue their final conclusion on the case. — VNS