|The rubber tree forest in Hạnh Dịch Commune, Quế Phong District in the central province of Nghệ An. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Tý|
NGHỆ AN — Many local residents in Hạnh Dịch Commune, Quế Phong District in the central province of Nghệ An, have suffered huge losses nearly a decade after ground was illegally levelled.
Nghệ An Rubber Development Investment Joint Stock Company levelled the ground and planted rubber trees on a total of 10.2 ha of land that has been managed by the local residents.
The land, consisting of seven ha in sub-zone No 85 and 3.2 ha in sub-zone No 82, has been managed by the residents according to Decree 163/1999/NĐ-CP on land allocation and lease of forestry land to organisations, households and individuals for stable and long-term use for forestry purposes since 2012.
Although local people have repeatedly required the company to compensate for the damage, the matter has not been resolved so far.
Bùi Văn Hiền, vice chairman of the People's Committee of the district said although there was no decision on land allocation or land lease from the authorities, the company had still planted rubber trees on seven ha of land that is managed by the local residents and 22.6 ha of land that are managed by the People’s Committee of the commune.
The company failed to notify the local authorities and people when it carried out the work, he added.
The People’s Committee of the district already communicated with the company many times and asked agencies to solve the problem but failed, he said.
Under investigation by a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in the province, the project to plant rubber trees of the company was granted an investment certificate in 2010 and it was adjusted in 2014 with an area of 10,000 ha to plant rubber trees.
Actually, the company received up to more than 12,500 ha of land, exceeding 2,500 ha compared to the approval.
However, after nearly 10 years, the company has only used more than 4,300 hectares to plant rubber trees.
Rubber plantation project
In 2014, the company received over 12,500 hectares of land in the mountainous districts of Quế Phong, Anh Sơn and Thanh Chương to implement the project of growing rubber trees in the province.
The project is expected not only to help the province have more export products, and increase revenue for the local budget but also contribute to ensuring national security and social security in the province.
To create favourable conditions for the company to promptly plant rubber trees in the fall of 2014, the provincial People's Committee had given the green light before the committee officially issued a decision to recover the land and transfer to the company.
A representative of the company said that they received the entire area to plant rubber trees that the General Team of TNXP 7-XDKT Nghệ An managed under Decision 1364/QĐ-UBND dated April 26, 2011, including the land in sub-zone No 82 and sub-zone No 85.
Therefore, for the dispute of seven ha of land in the sub-zone 85, the company representative said that in 2012, the People's Committee of Quế Phong District allocated the land and issued a certificate of land use right to the local people without notifying the company.
“It is believed to be not in accordance with the provisions of the Land Law,” the representative of the company said.
In sub-zone No 82, during the implementation process of the project, the company compensated for land clearance for six households, including 3.2 ha of land managed by the Youth Union of Chiếng Village under the witness of the People’s Committee of Hạnh Dịch Commune, the representative added.
Regarding the issue, the company proposed to establish an inspection team. If local people already received the compensation but they have yet to give it to the Youth Union, they have to do it now.
Explaining the use of only 4,300 ha of land, the representative said the remaining land is mainly forest, which has been applied the Directive 13-CT/TW, dated January 12, 2017, of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Việt Nam on strengthening the Party's leadership in forest management, protection and development and the Directive 1685/CT-TTg dated September 27, 2011 of the Prime Minister on strengthening direction of measures to protect forests.
Therefore, it cannot be converted into a rubber plantation.
In response to the situation, the provincial Natural Resources and Environment Department has submitted the provincial People’s Committee to consider and approve the expansion of the rubber tree-planting plan in the province.
The department also ordered the company to review and report specifically on the origin of the 2,500 ha of land to the provincial People's Committee and submit the committee for consideration and supplementation of the investment certificate in accordance with regulations.
The department told the company to coordinate with relevant agencies to review and implement compensation for land clearance as regulations. — VNS