HCM CITY — More than 2,900 companies owe social insurance in HCM City, with total overdue payments of VND141 billion (US$6.71 million), according to the city's Social Insurance Agency.
Of that amount, 80 per cent occurred in the first six months of this year, with the construction and property sectors responsible for the highest portion.
The agency said social-insurance debt rose steadily during the first half of the year due to the economic crisis, when many enterprises shut down or suspended operations.
Cao Van Sang, director of the agency, said that for the first half of the year, it filed lawsuits against 97 enterprises who owed VND42.2 billion in social insurance.
"This hardly covers the debt owed by enterprises that were dissolved or that fled the country or fled to other localities," Sang said.
Between 2008 and this year, more than 510 enterprises that evaded social insurance payments (worth a total of VND221.6 billion) were sued, he said.
Only half of the money has been reclaimed.
The agency said it could not identify all of the companies that had shut down because it did not have enough staff to do the work. In addition, poor cooperation among relevant agencies was another hindrance.
Nguyen Van Het, director of the social insurance office in the city's District 12, said that 20 companies in the district that shut down during the first half of the year still owed nearly VND1 billion in social insurance payments.
However, that number might be even higher, he added. The district has been unable to track down all the companies because it lacks a sufficient number of staff, and other agencies offer little cooperation. — VNS