Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – The PM this morning asked Deputy PM Vương Đình Huệ and Minister of Finance Đinh Tiến Dũng to prepare a plan for the compensation of US$500 million received from Formosa.
The Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Corporation officially apologised yesterday to the Vietnamese Government and the people for killing tonnes of fish in the central coastal provinces since early April. The company has promised to pay US$500 million in compensation to the Vietnamese people.
Speaking at the government’s online meeting with provinces and cities across the country, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said some thought that it had taken too long to announce the reasons for the fish deaths.
The work took a long time because the government had to ensure there was a scientific foundation, he said.
The government highly appreciated the cooperation of authorities at different levels and different sectors in the fight against Formosa violations.
PM Phúc asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to set up a draft plan to use the fund for different purposes and solve the case together with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
Priority must be given to long-term support for local seamen to have a means of subsistence.
PM Phúc said that support should be given to offshore fishing for long-term and sustainable effectiveness. He suggested using the fund to enable reduction in interest rate to 1-1.5 per cent while lending money to buy offshore fishing ships.
Besides this, PM Phúc asked concerned ministries to give direct support to seamen suffering from losses due to the fish deaths.
“We fought to get convincing evidence and a foundation to arrive at a conclusion. Thus the support fund allocated for seamen for offshore fishing and environmental protection will be announced obviously,” he said.
The PM requested that the plan to use the $500 million received as compensation from Formosa should be completed by the end of this month.
The most important task is ensuring Formosa commits to not repeating its faults; otherwise the company would be closed.
At the meeting, Nguyễn Văn Cao, chairman of the Thừa Thiên-Huế People’s Committee, said the seamen earned their living by fishing near the shore in the coastal communes, and therefore did not own land for agricultural purposes. The province proposed that the Prime Minister give more support to the fishermen for offshore fishing or to work abroad.
In the tourism sector, Cao proposed that the government give support through credit policies and by decreasing tax so that tourism investors could overcome difficulties.
In fact, many investors in the province were unable to attract tourists despite completing their hotels and resorts.
PM Phúc replied by saying that the compensation money would not be spent for short-term work but instead for long-term development. — VNS