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Millions lost in hi-tech shenanigans

Update: March, 14/2015 - 09:02

A model of Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park. — File Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— The Government Inspectorate says it has detected irregularities involving millions of dollars at the Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park in Ha Noi.

The wrongdoings covering investment, land use rights, site clearance and compensation took place between 2004 and 2012, it said in a report (No 446/Tb-TTCP) released on Tuesday.

The inspectors found that too much time was taken to make changes to construction plans and expenses listed were not actual.

Areas that no construction will take place were not clearly delineated, the report said.

The project's estimated cost did not match actual expenses with the gap going up to VND40.1 billion (US$1.9 million). Besides, there were construction violations of VND10.2 billion ($485,000).

In 600ha landmine-detecting project, there was a difference of VND7.1 billion ($338,000) between actual expenses and payment vouchers made for salaries and equipment purchases, accounting for 35 per cent of the balance sheet.

The inspectors suggested that the project would need to be checked by specialised agencies.

Other problems

Site clearance and compensation for the park, including its second phase, the Bac Phu Cat Industrial Park, was slow and failed to meet the December 31, 2012 deadline approved by the Prime Minister, the report said.

The haphazard manner in which site clearance was conducted led to many residents re-encroaching or deliberately staying on the land earmarked for the park, leading to many problems in its construction, the report said.

The project's illegal transfer of land-use permits to the Toan Thang Limited Company and compensation wrongfully paid to it caused losses of VND16.5 billion ($785,000).

Similar violations in site clearance for the Bac Phu Cat Industrial Park have cost VND46.7 billion ($2.2 million).

The report also said that during the construction, the Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park's management board organised many overseas trips for its staff. Thirty-two delegations submitted no report on their trips, 20 did not have plans for their business trips approved and 21 staff members were not eligible for trips abroad.

The inspectorate suggested that the Government acts to recoup VND80 billion ($3.8 million) and retrieves 30,000sq.m of land.

It also proposed that the Ministry of National Defence critically evaluates the 600ha landmine-detecting project.

The report's findings and proposals have been approved by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and sent to relevant ministries and other agencies. Final reports from the agencies are to be submitted by the second quarter of this year.

Approved in 1998, the Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park covers nearly 1,590ha of land. It has so far attracted 70 projects worth more than VND56 trillion (US$2.67 billion), including one to build the FPT university and software park, the Viettel hi-tech centre and a national satellite centre.

However, only 70 percent of the park's total area had been cleared for construction as of last year. So far, the land area assigned to enterprises is just 10.5 per cent of the total plan. Of the 74 licensed projects, six have had their operation licences withdrawn and 25 others have not begun implementation or have missed implementation deadlines. — VNS

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