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NA tightens rules on land acquisition

Update: November, 30/2013 - 09:39
National Assembly deputies yesterday voted to pass amendments to the Land Law. Many conferences and meetings were held to collect opinions from a wide cross-section of society. — VNA/VNS Photo Doan Tan

HA NOI (VNS)— Nearly 90 per cent of National Assembly deputies yesterday passed amendments to the Land Law, which will take effect on July 1 next year.

NA deputy chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said the amended law would have a great impact on the country's socio-economic development and also on organisations, individuals and households.

Many conferences and meetings were held to collect opinions from a wide cross-section of society including organisations, individuals, agencies and local authorities.

Before voting, lawmakers heard Nguyen Van Giau, chairman of the National Assembly Economic Committee, present a report on the opinions of deputies on the draft amendments. The amended law has 14 chapters and 212 articles.

On the subject of land acquisition, the law is supplemented with a number of cases on acquiring land for defence and security, socio-economic development serving national and public interests, and for disaster prevention.

Under the amended law, the Government will regulate details of procedures to force land acquisitions as, according to deputies, this is a complicated issue involving the rights and interests of citizens.

The law also states that forcibly acquiring land must be done publicly and democratically, ensuring public order and safety.

Chairman of the provincial or communal People's Committee must set up a council to assess the level of damage that the land owners suffer and make decisions on the level of compensation based on the council's conclusion.

Compensation will be paid once and directly to the land owners within 30 days since the date when land is returned.

The law has supplementary regulations stating that provincial People's Committees are responsible for offering vocational training to those whose agricultural land is acquired and supporting them until they find jobs.

It has additional regulations specifying the amounts of compensation for non-agricultural land owned by residential communities and religious establishments.

Regarding the price frame for land, the law states that the Government will issue a land-price framework every five years and provincial People's Committees will make calculations on each specific case.

The revised law also has new regulations ordering the participation of a land pricing consultancy agency on the land pricing appraisal council to ensure fairness in determining prices.

It also has regulations to encourage greater public involvement in outlining and implementing land-use plans as well as plans on compensation, support and resettlement. These provision were added to make the law more transparent.

After passing the Land Law, deputies continued discussing draft amendments to the Law on Bankruptcy.

Deputy Nguyen Thanh Bo from central Thanh Hoa Province and deputy Huynh Van Tinh from southern Tien Giang Province agreed to also include household businesses in the law, which is aimed at large-scale enterprises and co-operatives.

Deputy Tran Du Lich from HCM City suggested the law must regulate criteria to select experts to manage the assets of failed companies.

Deputy Ngan agreed, saying that people in charge of doing this must satisfy specific financial and economic requirements and have work permits.

Deputy Nguyen Quoc Binh in Ha Noi said there should be regulations on the number of asset managers needed "as one person cannot handle the assets of a large-scale company".

Dang Ngoc Tung from southern Dong Nai Province said the law should include regulations ensuring the rights of workers. He said that at present, when a company went bankrupt, its owners often disappeared, leaving employees without pay.

He added that the owners of bankrupt firms must be banned from leaving their homes until all procedures had been completed.

Many deputies disagreed with a regulation stating that when enterprises and co-operatives fail to pay debts worth VND200 million (US$9,500) within three months they automatically fall into bankruptcy.

Deputy Binh from Ha Noi said the law should not decide on a fixed figure because enterprises had different scales of operation. This meant their abilities to pay debt also differed. Some businesses had trillions of dong in capital, while others only had a few billion, he added.

Meanwhile, deputy Tung from Dong Nai Province, who is also chairman of the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour, suggested the law enable workers to ask courts to declare an enterprise broke if it did not pay salaries.

NA ends session

The revised 1992 Constitution, eight laws, 10 bills and a number of matters relating to the country's socio-economy, State Budget and human resources were decided during the sixth session of the thirteenth National Assembly that ended yesterday.

Speaking at a press conference afterwards, NA Deputy Chairman Uong Chu Luu said that changes to the revised Land Law and the revised 1992 Constitution would mean requisition of land would be based on explicit principles.

"Land acquisition will be implemented only if necessary and those affected would receive appropriate compensation," said Luu.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Nguyen Minh Quang also said that the revised land law would help handle shortcomings and difficulties that had led to many complaints and lawsuits in past years.

Asked about the new land law's impacts on foreign investors, Quang said that it would provide equal opportunities for Vietnamese and foreign investors.

This would enable foreign investors to get involved in home construction projects for living, leasing or selling. It would also provide many choices for foreign investors to pay land rentals over short or long periods. — VNS


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