BAC NINH — Several newly-built and costly markets have been left abandoned in the northern province of Bac Ninh as small traders prefer to open make-shift alternatives in locations that are more easily accessible to buyers.
Bo Son Market in Vo Cuong Commune, Bac Ninh City, was completed two years ago but has never opened to the public.
More than VND10 billion (US$476,190) was invested in the 6,000sq.m market which includes 111 kiosks.
Local resident Nguyen Thi Huong said small traders held a temporary market on Highway 38 instead of using the official market, which caused public disorder and environmental pollution.
Nguyen Chieu Hoach, deputy chairman of Vo Cuong People's Committee, said that locals refused to go to the market because the alley leading to its entrance was rather small and always hit by traffic jams.
Residents and small traders also complained that it was inconvenient for them to choose goods in the new market because of the multitude of different stores. They preferred traditional markets with food displayed in abundance in close proximity to each other, said Hoach.
Similarly, the 4,000sq.m Vu Ninh Market in the city's Vu Ninh Ward was built in 2007 with a total investment of more than VND2 billion ($95,230), but has yet to attract any traders.
Nguyen Thanh Nhan, chairman of Vu Ninh People's Committee, said that people ignored the market as it was about two kilometres away from residential areas.
Deputy chairman of Bac Ninh People's Committee Nguyen Tu Quynh said that Vo Cuong and Vu Ninh communes were two of the six wards and communes which had been chosen as models in the Government's New Rural Area Programme.
The two markets above received funds from the State budget, including bond funding, provincial budget allocations and contributions from enterprises and organisations, said Quynh.
The province has built three markets following the new model, including Bo Son, Vu Ninh and Thi Chung, and all have been left unused.
The provincial People's Committee has asked local People's Committees to improve dissemination of information about the markets and implement proper policies to encourage local residents to use the new markets.
To encourage small traders to open shops at the Bo Son Market, Hoach said the ward authorities would offer them a two - year tax exemption which would allow them to sell their goods at lower prices to attract buyers.
So far, no one had registered to open a shop in the market, said Hoach.
Meanwhile, Nhan said authorities in Vu Ninh Ward were considering altering the Vu Ninh Market model into an enterprise or co-operative.
If the alteration plan is approved by the provincial People's Committee, the ward authorities plan to put the market out to tenders. — VNS