Viet Nam News
BÌNH ĐỊNH — Two shipbuilders were found to be violating shipbuilding contracts, delivering dozens of substandard steel fishing vessels to fishermen in central Bình Định Province.
Under the Government Decree 67 dated July 7, 2014 on fisheries sector development policies, shipowners building steel vessels with total main engine capacity between 400CV and 800CV can borrow from commercial banks a sum of money that does not exceed 90 per cent of the total investment in the building of the ships.
The interest rate is 7 per cent per year, of which shipowners are required to pay 2 per cent per year, while the State budget will subsidise 5 per cent. Many fishermen who received loans from commercial banks to buy steel ships built under the decree have complained about the poor quality of these ships, saying they continued to face malfunctions and were forced to make repairs.
In central Bình Định Province, 18 steel fishing ships were found to be of substandard quality, of which 13 were built by Nam Triệu One Member Ltd Company and five were built by Đại Nguyên Dương Shipbuilding Company.
According to examination by the province’s agriculture department, the ships suffered from frequent breakdowns and degradation.
In particular, main engines on nine ships built by the Nam Triệu company were broken, while the power supply machines on three other ships were working intermittently. Shipowners reported that under contracts signed with the companies, materials to build the ships were to be made in Japan or the Republic of Korea, but in reality they were made in China.
To re-examine the steel fishing boats after problems were detected, Bình Định Province People’s Committee early this month established a specialised team.
At a meeting with the provincial leaders, relevant agencies, shipbuilders and shipowners, the team asked the two shipbuilders to replace substandard vessel shells with shells regulated under the contracts on design, material, origin, instruction for use and maintenance.
Nam Triệu Company was asked to replace 10 major engines in a vessel built for a shipowner named Trần Đình Sơn as the current engines were unsuitable.
Vice chairman of the province’s People’s Committee Trần Đình Châu said all the substandard steel fishing boats must be fixed by the end of next month.
The two ship builders were responsible for repairing, covering the repair cost and compensating ship owners since the vessels were undergoing repairs and could therefore not be used for fishing, Châu said.
The provincial People’s Committee would recommend Central agencies and banks to allow owners of substandard fishing vessels to delay returning loans and interest, Châu said.
Colonel Trần Huy Giáp, vice director of the province’s police department, said the police would continue investigating economic violations related to the shipbuilders as they violated economic shipbuilding contracts, resulting in poor quality fishing vessels.
Trần Văn Hương, vice chairman of Phù Cát District People’s Committee said the new vessels experienced problems after being used for just a year, which caused losses for shipowners and left many fishermen without a job, thus affecting their livelihood.
He asked for compensation from the shipbuilders.
According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, by the end of last year, there were 771 new steel fishing ships being built under the decree, most of which are in good condition. — VNS