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Compensation agreed for locals

Update: August, 17/2016 - 10:25
The National Assembly Standing Committee (NASC), in a meeting yesterday, agreed with the Government’s proposal to use VNĐ77 billion (US$3.5 million) to pay compensation for local residents who were impacted by the Tả Trạch Hydro Power Reservoir Project. — Photo baomoi.com

HÀ NỘI — The National Assembly Standing Committee (NASC), in a meeting yesterday, agreed with the Government’s proposal to use VNĐ77 billion (US$3.5 million) to pay compensation for local residents who were impacted by the Tả Trạch Hydro Power Reservoir Project.

According to the Government report delivered in the morning session, the Government proposed to take VNĐ77 billion from Government bonds to pay compensation and relocate people whose land had been taken for the Tả Trạch Project in central Thừa Thiên-Huế Province which started in 2004.

Initially, the compensation for land clearance was based on “land for land” but due to the province’s limit of land areas, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development – the project implementer – had only provided the local people 324.4 ha in comparison with more than 1,342 ha of land taken for the project, the report said.

The slow compensation had caused difficulties for about 300 households and led to complaints for nearly 10 years.

Nguyễn Đức Hải, chairman of the NA Finance and Budget Committee said that the use of money from the Government bond was not appropriate because the fund for compensation must be from the project’s approved investment.

The NA Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân asked relevant offices including ministries of Planning and Investment, and Agriculture and Rural Development, and the People’s Committee of Thừa Thiên-Huế Province to learn from the lesson to avoid the same problem in the future.

The NA deputy chairmen Nguyễn Bá Tỵ and Uông Chung Lưu shared the same opinion that paying money as compensation was not the best solution.

The people needed land for production or to have other jobs created for them, said Lưu.

Finally, the NASC agreed with the Government proposal to help local people resettle their lives and stop the complaints. But the compensation money must be sourced from capital already allocated for the construction of not-so-urgent components of the Tả Trạch project.

Adjustment of foreign capital use

Also, in the morning, deputies heard the Government’s report on adjusting the use of the foreign investment sources in 2016.

The Government reported the situation of foreign capital allocation and disbursement for the first five months, and demand of official development assistance (ODA) and preferential loans of ministries and sectors from central to local levels.

The plan of using the foreign investment source was approved by the NA in 2015 with VNĐ48.7 trillion (US$2.2 billion) allocated to ministries and localities. The remaining amount of VND1,300 billion (US$60 million) was kept as reserve.

According to the Government report, as of May this year, the capital disbursed was VNĐ17.3 trillion (US$787 million), reaching 36.1 per cent of the plan.

The only localities that fulfilled the disbursement plan were Tuyên Quang Province, Ninh Bình Province, and HCM City. The sectors and localities having disbursement rates below 10 per cent were the Ministry of Education and Training, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and Hà Nội University.

Notably, ministries and localities which had not disbursed any per cent were the Defence Ministry, Public Security Ministry, Information and Communication Ministry, Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Ministry, and provinces of Thái Nguyên, Bến Tre and Bình Phước.

The uneven result of capital disbursement  was due to differences in bidding procedures, slow ground clearance, and weak capabilities of some project management boards, the report said.

Meanwhile some projects that fulfilled the disbursement plan was waiting for more money. This caused increased cost and prolonged implementation.

Besides, the donors do not agree to prolong disbursement to next year.

With these reasons, the Government asked the NA to allow it to adjust the allocation of foreign capital among projects, ministries and localities.

The NA Finance and Budget Committee said that the Government proposal proved the shortcomings in management and use of foreign capital sources and asked it to work on the adjustment of the allocation plan for the NA’s reconsideration at its next meeting.  — VNS

 

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