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Revised land law hopes to solve acquisition angst

Update: November, 07/2013 - 09:31
Chairman of the NA Economics Committee Nguyen Van Giau said that the additional contents included regulations for land acquisition due to natural disasters as force majeure, acquisition of ineffectively-used land at State-owned farming companies and allocation of property to ethnic people who lack production land.— VNA/VNS Photo

HA NOI  (VNS)  — Lawmakers debated the draft of the revised Land Law yesterday. While bills usually undergo two sessions before getting approval, this bill has been included in three plenary sessions of the assembly. It is expected to be approved later this month.

Nearly seven million opinions contributed to the draft, which contains 14 chapters and 212 articles.

This is two more articles than the version proposed in June's NA session.

Chairman of the NA Economics Committee Nguyen Van Giau said that the additional contents included regulations for land acquisition due to natural disasters as force majeure, acquisition of ineffectively-used land at State-owned farming companies and allocation of property to ethnic people who lack production land.

By clarifying the regulations, deputies aim to address the massive problem of land acquisition, which has caused trouble for many in the past few years.

The draft clarifies cases in which land acquisition is lawful, such as when it would benefit the nation or socio-economic development or when land users commit violations, Giau said.

It also includes regulations on the participation of people, organisations and authorities in land acquisition, compensation, support and resettlement for people whose land is acquired.

People's Councils, the Viet Nam Father Land Front and other civil societies will consult provincial and municipal People's Committees to decide a land price frame for their localities to ensure that the regulated prices follow market prices. If market prices change, so will the regulated prices.

However, the Government will decide on a case-by-case basis whether a given price fluctuation is large enough to adjust the regulated price frame, Giau said.

Deputy Dang Thi My Huong of central Ninh Thuan Province said that when it came to socio-economic development projects, land acquisition should only be made if the State was the projects' investor. If not, enterprises must negotiate the land price and compensation with land users.

Deputy Tran Ngoc Vinh from northern Hai Phong City agreed with Huong, adding that the revised law should regulate the responsibilities of individuals and organisations empowered to approve land planning.

Vinh urged the establishment of an agency that would identify land prices independently, which would address the popular concern about provincial People's Committees being authorised to distribute land, rent land, evict land and decide land prices.

Deputy Huynh Minh Hac from Mekong Delta Bac Lieu Province agreed, adding that land prices should be decided through auctions supervised by people with land-use right certificates, instead of being regulated by the State.

"This would reduce people's complaints about land prices, land clearance and compensation," he said.

Deputy Vu Xuan Truong from northern Nam Dinh Province said that it was difficult to evict investors who delayed their projects for 24 months.

"Local authorities want to evict investors but fail to negotiate the compensation with them because in many cases, the investors spend money on paying compensation for previous users or developing infrastructure," he said, adding that the Government should create a detailed guide for implementing the law.

Deputy Nguyen Tien Sinh from northern Hoa Binh Province said that the revised law should have regulations further engaging the Viet Nam Fatherland Front and people from ethnic groups in developing land-use plans and that land acquisition should ensure transparency and equity.

In the afternoon, the deputies listened to reports on the draft revision to the laws on construction, environment protection, marriage and family, and health insurance. The four draft laws are scheduled for discussion next week.

The deputies will discuss the prevention and control of law violations and crimes, and scrutinise the world of the Prosecutor General of the Supreme People's Procuracy, the Chief Judge of the Supreme People's Court as well as the implementation of a NA resolution on corruption prevention and combat in 2013 today. — VNS

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