HA NOI (VNS)– Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked local governments to clamp down on the illegal trade, production and use of firecrackers as the traditional Tet (lunar new year) festival fast approaches.
Under the Prime Minister's official message, more inspections should be carried out at border gates, train stations and ports to prevent illegal imports of fire crackers from reaching Viet Nam.
Chairmen of People's Committees in provinces and cities will be held to account if firecracker activities spiral out of control on their watch.
In the PM's message, it was estimated that police seized around 27,500 kilos of firecrackers and arrested 2,100 suspects between February 2011 and August 2012.
Poor local management was blamed for the heightened level of firecracker activity during the last Tet festival in January, and the Government is keen to avoid a repeat performance.
The Prime Minister also assigned the Ministry of Information and Communications to co-operate with relevant agencies and disseminate to people, especially youngsters and students, the importance of obeying these regulations.
Viet Nam's Government banned the production, trade and use of firecrackers in 1994, but problems still persist.
Three weeks ago, northeastern Quang Ninh Province's Police seized nearly two tonnes of firecrackers that had been illegally imported from China.
Police continue to hunt the five suspects who transported the firecrackers in a Ford Transit car. – VNS