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People need land protection

Update: December, 14/2012 - 09:50

 

The Thanh My Loi Residential Area in HCM City was built to accommodate families whose land had been revoked. Legal protection is needed to ensure the benefit local people whose land was revoked for the State's development projects. — VNA/VNS Photo Van Khanh
HA NOI (VNS)— Land management regulations should be clearer and more consistent, particularly rules related to land withdrawal and compensation for people whose land is revoked, experts said.

Speaking at yesterday's conference on the revision of Land Law 2003, Nguyen Manh Hien, deputy minister of Natural Resources and Environment cum head of the ministry's General Department of Land Administration, said the current regulations on compensation and resettlement had been amended so as to better suit market mechanisms, ensuring the legitimate rights of those who lost their land.

However, there were still many legal shortcomings, causing disputes among local people whose land was revoked for the State's development projects, he said.

For some projects, the Government was allowing investors to negotiate the compensation price with local people, resulting in a land price higher than what the State offered for land revoked for other projects in the same area.

But when investors and land owners could not reach an agreement, land clearance was delayed and projects could not be completed as scheduled.

Doan Quang Hung, an official from the Land Management Division of the northern Hoa Binh Province's Department of Natural Resources and Environment, blamed the disputes on the continuous changes to regulations over the years.

Many projects were divided into several phases, he said, so land compensation was also conducted phase by phase. However, due to the inconsistent policies and the long duration of the projects, local people did not all receive the same level of compensation.

Allowing investors to negotiate land prices with local residents was also inconsistent with regulations in the Land Law, which states that the State has the right to regulate land use and duration, land allocation and land price.

Hung also added that the compensation price offered by the State should be enough for people to resettle and live comfortable lives.

Tommy Osterberg, an expert from the Lantmateriet, a Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority, said the legal framework of land management should be designed to handle various new policies without frequent changes.

He also advised the Government to improve the land information system, ensuring that people could access it easily, and regularly update the information. This would help reduce the likelihood of corruption, Osterberg said.

Officials working in the land field must also be trained to solve complicated legal and technical problems related to land in a transparent manner, preserving the interests of both public and private sectors, he added. And the process of deciding land prices should be formalised to ensure that the prices were decided fairly and objectively.

At the conference, organised by the ministry's Department of Land Administration within the framework of the Beyond WTO Programme – a post-WTO accession technical assistance programme - participants also heard experts from China, Australia and South Korea explain regulations for land management, compensation and price assessment in their countries. — VNS

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