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Formosa awarded improper lease: gov’t

Update: July, 23/2016 - 11:09
Hà Tĩnh Province’s authority violated regulations by granting the Taiwanese-owned Formosa company a 70-year land lease, Deputy Government Inspector General Ngô Văn Khánh said at a regular press conference yesterday. — Photo vnexpress.net

HÀ NỘI — Hà Tĩnh Province’s authority violated regulations by granting the Taiwanese-owned Formosa company a 70-year land lease, Deputy Government Inspector General Ngô Văn Khánh said at a regular press conference yesterday.

He made the comment while fielding questions from reporters on the responsibility of Hà Tĩnh leaders in granting an investment licence to Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Company, also called Formosa - the culprit of the recent mass fish deaths in four central provinces.

He said that prior to 2014, a provincial authority was only authorised to permit a land lease for a period of up to 50 years.

The previous 2005 investment law allowed foreign-invested projects to have a maximum 50-year life span. The Government will, in certain cases, decide to grant a longer period, which cannot exceed 70 years.

“The Hà Tĩnh authority granted Formosa the permission in 2012 when the Formosa project was not approved by the Prime Minister. The decision, therefore, is against their mandate,” Khánh said.

Khánh said this violation had already been pointed out by the Government Inspectorate in 2014 following a general inspection on construction investment and land management in the central Hà Tĩnh Province in 2012.

He said the Government Inspectorate had asked the Ministry of Investment and Planning to examine the case and propose a solution to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister later gave approval to keep the 70-year period, as it was in accordance with Investment Law 2014, which replaced Investment Law 2005.

The Deputy Government Inspector General added that following the inspection, the Government Inspector had asked the Hà Tĩnh authority to hold those involved accountable.

“However, Hà Tĩnh leaders have not carried out this work earnestly,” he said.

In regard to tackling the consequences of Formosa’s incident, Khánh said the Party, State and related ministries, including the Government Inspectorate, were acting to mitigate the consequences of the environmental disaster, as well as making and improving related policies in order to assist residents of the four affected provinces.

Violations at PVC

In addition to Formosa-related questions, Khánh also addressed issues that have recently gained public attention, including the business activities of PetroVietnam Construction Company (PVC).

Khánh said the Government Inspectorate had found violations within some big projects carried out by PVC’s subsidiary companies, such as the bio-ethanol plant in Phú Thọ Province and the Đình Vũ Textile Plant in Hải Phòng.

A draft conclusion of the inspection showed PVC, as the contractor, was responsible for those violations when carrying out these projects, he said.

The inspectors would propose punishments in accordance with law, he said. — VNS

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