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Hai Phong begins land policy review

Update: April, 05/2012 - 10:17

HAI PHONG — Hai Phong City is reviewing and adjusting its land management procedures following an attempt by local authorities to seize agricultural land on the allegation that the lease had expired.

The Hai Phong People's Committee has now revoked "unlawful decisions" made by the People's Committee of Tien Lang District on the forced seizure from farmer Doan Van Vuon.

Plans to let Vuon's family continue to use the land in accordance with the provisions of the Land Law of 2003 have also been sent to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for approval.

Meanwhile, Hai Phong police are continuing their investigations as they await an evaluation of some of Vuon's property destroyed during the illegal seizure on January 5.

Charges against Vuon and three others in detention of attempted murder and opposition to those on duty are being followed up by police.

The primary investigations were done at the instigation of the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung issued on February 10.

The PM ordered Hai Phong authorities to follow the appropriate regulations and legal procedures to permit Vuon to continue to use the allocated land in accordance with established laws.

So far, 25 Hai Phong City and district-level organisations and 50 individuals involved in the land seizure case have been punished.

Chairman of the Tien Lang District People's Committee was removed from his post. Deputy director of the city's Department of Science and Technology Nguyen Van Tung was appointed to replace him.

Inspections have revealed that Vuon had encroached on an area of 19.3ha on his own will and destroyed protective forests to turn the land into aquatic farm, according to press release issued on Tuesday.

However, Vuon paid fines of VND1 million (US$47) and VND15 million ($710), to compensate for this several years ago.

In addition, during the period of 1999-2012, Vuon leased land without permission from local authorities and earned more than VND259.9 million ($12,380) from leasing land to other farmers.

Vuon was also found to be more than VND10 million (US$480) in arrears in paying land-use taxes.

On January 5, when the district People's Committee mobilised more than 100 police to forcefully confiscate the 19.3ha area which Vuon had encroached upon, he and his family members resisted.

Six officials and police were injured by home-made land mines and rifles. — VNS

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