HA NOI — Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked local authorities, including farmers' unions, to survey the root causes for petitions by farmers who have forcibly lost their land to urban development.
Phuc was addressing a meeting in the capital city yesterday by the Viet Nam Farmers' Union to review the first decade of the Prime Minister's Instruction No 26/2001/CT-TTg on the settlement of farmers' complaints and petitions (2001-2011).
He said unsatisfactory settlement of farmers' claims when their land permits were revoked had become a big problem.
"It must be urgently settled," said Phuc. "However, the process must be done in a transparent and accountable way and in close co-ordination with the authorities.
He claimed that the Party and Government had paid special attention to agriculture and rural development, particularly improving farmers' livelihoods.
Phuc praised the role played by farmers' unions in implementing the Prime Minister's instructions.
He asked them to act as good advisory councils to local authorities in handling citizen's complaints.
He urged the unions to focus more on educating union members and non-members on patriotism and their responsibility in socio-economic development as well as in law enforcement.
"Skills training and employment for farmers are also the tasks of the unions," Phuc said.
Nguyen Quoc Cuong, president of the Viet Nam Farmers' Union, said the union had actively co-operated with local authorities and sectors to organise talks with farmers to address issues they were concerned about.
"We have performed our role well through reconciliation sessions," said Cuong.
He promised to make it easier for farmers to participate more in the settlement of complaints and petitions. — VNS