“Site clearance is a continuing problem which discourages foreign investors in Vietnam,” said Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at an online meeting on December 11.
Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) at the online meeting
The meeting was with representatives from 22 cities and provinces where they discussed site clearance for the National Highway No. 1 and Ho Chi Minh Highway projects.
According to the Ministry of Transport, most localities have completed only 50% of the required site clearance work for the projects. Many of the localities have yet to deliver any cleaned land to investors.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance said the budget for site clearance for the projects was sufficient. Any locality which finishes the required procedures and ensures the pace of site clearance pace will receive their disbursement. The total investment for National Highway No. 1’s site clearance was VND7.35 trillion (USD358.5 million), but only VND2.93 trillion (USD139.5 million) of those funds has been disbursed. For Ho Chi Minh Highway, just VND82 billion (USD3.9 million) out of the total VND1.3 trillion (USD61.9 million) has been disbursed.
Deputy PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc pointed out specific provinces with slow site clearance, including Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Can Tho, Hau Giang, Gia Lai and Kon Tum.
These provinces attributed the slow work to various reasons, including problems with moving households due to flooding and storms. Some also said that the clearance difficulties were because the allocated land was in use by Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and Vietnam Military Telecommunications Group (Viettel).
Deputy PM Phuc assigned the directors of transport departments, chairmen of people’s committees as well as district authorities to improve communication with local people to settle difficulties.
Phuc noted that coercion may be necessary for cases in which people do not comply with the law.
He also requested that EVN, VNPT and Viettel to cooperate with local authorities to deal with their work to ensure the pace of site clearance pace.
The deadline for the handover of land to investors on the two projects is no later than the first quarter of next year.