|A karaoke bar in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Đạt|
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has ordered three ministries of Public Security, Construction; and Culture, Sports and Tourism, to coordinate in removing obstacles for karaoke businesses in the country.
The move came after karaoke businesses in the provinces of Bắc Ninh, Bắc Giang, Hải Dương, Nghệ An, Hải Phòng, Thanh Hóa and cities of Hà Nội and HCM City jointly signed a petition, highlighting a series of inadequacies in fire prevention regulations believed to have resulted in the suspension of thousands of karaoke bars in these localities.
In the petition, the karaoke businesses stated that after two years of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were financially exhausted.
The karaoke businesses remain suspended as they failed to meet the fire prevention regulations under the Government's Decree No. 136/2020/NĐ-CP, issued in November 2020 and the Ministry of Public Security's Circular No. 147/2020/TT-BCA, issue in December 2020.
The suspension has pushed the karaoke businesses into a deadlock, as there is no solution, according to the petition.
The karaoke businesses stated that most of them were established before the decree and circular took effect. They also confirmed that they were fully granted business licences in accordance with the law, including conditions on fire prevention, before the decree was issued.
However, following inspections under plan No. 513 of the Ministry of Public Security (since October 2022), all the karaoke businesses were forced to suspend their operations because inspectors concluded that the karaoke bars failed to meet current regulations on fire prevention and safety.
Authorised agencies in some localities have advised the karaoke businesses to rebuild karaoke bars to comply with current regulations, instead of instructing them to repair the existing bars, according to the petition.
Approximately 20,000 karaoke bars were granted business permits before the decree took effect.
It is estimated that the owners of the karaoke bars have invested approximately VNĐ75 trillion (US$3.2 billion) in the bars.
Therefore, the karaoke businesses have submitted a request to the Prime Minister and the ministries, seeking assistance in resolving difficulties, as well as organising a dialogue with the karaoke businesses to find suitable solutions for the situation. — VNS