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HCM City: Officials warn about waste in public land use

HCM City (VNA) – Administration of
public lands should be tightened to increase Ho Chi Minh City’s revenues, a
city People’s Council meeting heard recently.

“There are too many agencies managing public lands
and this leads to poor management,” Nguyen Toan Thang, director of the
Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said.

He said the city should have only one agency,
which would be fully responsible for the management and commercialisation of
public lands.

“This will prevent the situation, which has been
occurring for a very long time, of huge public buildings and lands being wasted
and causing a great loss to the city.”

Many agencies occupy large
lands paying a nominal lease or nothing, and in most cases they
leave the lands unused or sublet it at much higher
rates than they pay, he said.

“Many businesses place their own interest above
the common interest. Despite their ineffective use of land, they insist on
keeping it at their disposal.”

Encroachment of public land, related disputes
and illegal sales of public lands to private individuals
are rife even as many build-transfer (BT)
projects stall due to lack of lands to be handed over to contractors
as payment for their work, he said.

Vo Cong Luc, director of the HCM City Land Fund
Development Centre, said: “These situations mean it is
difficult for the city to take back lands or even pay large
sums as compensation.”

To resolve the problem,
the Government recently instructed all localities to stop
transfer of public lands and focus on reviewing their
wasteful use.

In HCM City, as of the end of last year
authorities had planned to retrieve 213 hectares of
land from public firms and agencies and auction them, but have
managed only 204ha.

It has under its control 960 plots
of land.

A Department of Finance
official said public agencies found wasting lands would be
dispossessed and the lands would be handed over to the HCM City Land
Fund Development Centre.

The city would work with central agencies to
review their land holdings in HCM City, and take
over management in case of poor management, he said. – VNA

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