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Red tape leads to property disputes

Update: September, 19/2012 - 09:50


Bungled legal documents and errors account for 70 per cent of land-related complaints and denunciations nationwide.—Photo Ktdt
HA NOI (VNS) — Bungled legal documents and errors from incapable authorities account for 70 per cent of land-related complaints and denunciations nationwide, according to members of the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee.

Nguyen Sinh Hung, chairman of NA said yesterday that it's imperative to limit the causes of land-related disputes or complaints as they directly affect society and people's daily lives.

He said the responsibilities of relevant authorities at any level should be clearly defined.

Statistics from the Government Inspectorate showed nearly 700,000 complaints and denunciations on land issues have been filed in the past three years.

About 70 per cent of them have been resulted from administration decisions on land revoke, compensation and resettlement mechanism, while 20 per cent pertained to land lease and land use purpose transfer.

The rest stemmed from issuance and the withdrawal of land-use certificates.

Nguyen Van Giau, chairman of the NA's Economic Committee said there is too much inconsistency, instability and infeasiblity in Land Laws and in more than 20 other legal documents relating to land regulations.

In past cases, inappropriate legal regulations on land planning and usage have led to deserted land lots, while farmers whose agricultural land is revoked have no means of income.

In others, compensation and support mechanisms in many localities are not set up and applied according to market value, he said.

Nguyen Hanh Phuc, head of NA Office said many regulations are too inflexible to fit real situations.

Giau said complaints mainly stem incapable authorities making wrong decisions on issues such as land revoking, compensation, support, resettlement or land use purpose transfers.

Many also fail to follow legal procedures for land inspection, planning and usage.

According to the Government Inspectorate, more than 19,000 ha of land are being used without legal planning and over 21,000 ha are being used for the wrong purpose, while more than 22,000 ha are encroaching other properties.

Phuc agreed with Giau's assessment and said: "Many localities set their own procedures, mechanisms of land revoke, clearance, resettlement and compensation. This possibly causes inequality and disputes between people."

Chairman of the NA National Defence and Security Nguyen Kim Khoa said many do not obey any legal procedures when making decisions to revoke land or pay compensation.

Nguyen Van Hien, chairman of the NA Law Committee added that chairmen of some provinicial and district-level people's committees, responsible for settling the petitions and complaints of local people on land issues, have failed to accomplish their tasks when shifting these to other agencies.

Khoa said this ineffectiveness in settling people's petitions relating to land disputes has worsened the situation.

Members of the NA Standing Committee agreed that this has increased the seriousness of people's land issue complaints.

Huynh Ngoc Son, deputy chairman of NA suggested it is necessary to define who takes legal responsbilities for wrong decisions on land-related issues and how these affect people's lives, to establish consequences and punishments for violators.

Chairman of NA Law Committee Phan Trung Ly and other lawmakers shared Son's suggestion.

Deputy chairman of NA Uong Chu Luu said dialogues between plaintiffs and authorities responsible for settling their complaints should be held.

Besides, relevant agencies should improve their co-ordination in settling the disputes or denunciations on land issues to avoid overlapped or contradictory solutions, he said.

Anti-corruption legislation

In the afternoon session, the Standing Committee discussed the draft for the amended law on Anti-Corruption.

Most members of the NA Standing Committee expressed scepticism over the feasibility of the draft because State agencies have found no way to supervise or control the incomes and assets of their officers.

Chairman of NA Law Committee Hien said enumerating assets of state officers and members of the communist party has shown its ineffectiveness in preventing and detecting corruption, although it has been considered a key measure in combatting it.

Deputy chairman of NA Son said when enumeration of officers' assets is voluntary, the feasibility of the draft remains a big question.

Lawmakers also agreed that the failure of the draft to regulate detailed punishment methods for violators or the leaders of agencies detected with corruption cases has decreased its feasibility and effectiveness.

Son said the draft does not define any punishment except for the regulation that corrupt officers will be removed from their positions or sacked from office.

President of the NA's Ethnic Council Ksor Phuoc said leaders will also be subject to take responsibility for corruption cases happening in their offices but he wondered who leaders are: the direct supervisor to the corrupt officers or the general leader of the department.

Not to mention that leaders have to make regular inspections to detect corruption activities, but it is them who will be punished if there are any corruption cases. This regulation sounds unreasonable, he said.

Hien suggested the draft should give more specific regulations on subjects, their responsibilities, mechanisms of asset enumeration, verification, publicity and punishment methods. Lists of officers' assests should be publicised regularly so that they can be better scrutinised by their leaders.

Head of NA Office Phuc called for a comprehensive review of the current law on Anti-corruption since 2006 to detail its shortcomings.

Members of the NA Standing Committee agreed the need for amendments to the current law on Anti-Corruption, but said the drafting board should get more opinions from experts and the public.

The draft of the amended law with 8 chapters and 110 articles plans to be submitted to the next NA session. —VNS

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