The survey, conducted by the Hanoi Economics University on 453 enterprises in Hanoi, at first, found out that only 76 enterprises pay this kind of fees. Two years later, the number of enterprises paying fees reduced to 23. Meanwhile, the sum of money collected reduced from 683 million dong to 62 million dong.
In HCM City, the number of enterprises paying fees once increased, but then decreased. In the first three years of the survey, the number of enterprises paying fees soared from 129 to 1851, but then decreased to 594.
“Most of the enterprises deliberately evaded the payment, or they tried to delay the payment,” said Dr Le Ha Thanh from the Urban Environment Faculty of the university, Head of the research team.
The Institute of Policy and Strategy for Natural Resources and Environment has also affirmed that the collected fees are much lower than the initially expected level. The fees collected in big cities such as Hanoi and HCM City were also equal to 20-30 percent of the expected level.
Since enterprises deliberately avoid paying fees, local authorities do not have enough money to spend to settle the environmental problems. Meanwhile, the environment pollution due to the waste waster has become more serious on a larger area.
Up to 70 percent of the waste water from industrial zones are discharging directly to the environment, which do not go through any treatment process. A lot of enterprises have waste water treatment plants, but they never run. A high percentage of waste water from industrial zones have the pollution indexes far exceeding the Vietnamese standards.
Of the polled enterprises, no one had division or officers in charge of environment protection.
The researchers have pointed out that the fines on tax evasion are much lower than the fees that enterprises have to pay, which explains why enterprises would rather evade tax than paying fees.
According to Dr Le Ha Thanh, the main problem lies in the government’s Decree No 67. More than a half of polled enterprises said that the fee mechanism is too complicated, while the state management agencies set up too many indexes. As a result, the fees are unaffordable to enterprises’ financial capability.
Therefore, scientists have suggested collecting fees only from big enterprises operating in some fields which cause most serious pollution, such as shoes production, tanning, dyeing, chemicals, seafood or sugar. Meanwhile, the pollution indexes for reference would be mainly focused on COD, TSS and some heavy metals.
In related news, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Bui Cach Tuyen has said that his ministry is going to propose to raise the spending on environment protection to no less than 2 percent of the state budget’s spending by 2015. The ministry is also going to propose the government to release a legal document, stipulating that investors must reserve 10-20 percent of their total investment capital for environment infrastructure items.
Also according to Tuyen, only 118 out of 260 industrial zones, export processing zones and high tech zones have concentrated waste water treatment systems, which account for 45 percent. Meanwhile, only seven urban areas have concentrated domestic waste water treatment system. 63 percent of hospitals still have not medical waste treatment plants, and 2100 craft villages nationwide still have not installed waste treatment systems. Source: Tien phong