Gov't looks to clamp down on misused public assets

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VietNam News English - 35 month(s) ago 1 readings

The Government is hoping to generate more than VND80,000 billion (US$3.9 billion) annually from better management of public assets, especially those currently occupied by state companies and corporations.

HA NOI —

The Finance Ministry's Public Asset Management Department held a conference yesterday to discuss a draft project to exploit financial resources from land and state assets for the socio-economic development period 2011-20. Statistics showed that state-owned companies currently occupy an estimated 1.5 billion sq.m of office space and more than 100,000 sq.m in housing. State corporations and conglomerates currently use about 155 million sq.m of land nationwide.

However, some public agencies and administrative offices misuse their land, especially in cities, where buildings can be left vacant or illegally let out for other uses such as businesses or services, leading to a waste of public assets.

According to the department's head Pham Dinh Cuong, the Government in recent years had been pushing for preferable land policies to spur production and attract investment, including low land use taxes for state companies.

Official tax statistics suggested that in 2010, the Government collected about VND3,000 billion ($142.8 million) from roughly 200,000 businesses that were registered to rent state-owned land.

In addition, weaknesses in public asset management came from inadequate and incomprehensive legal regulations, and outdated and unsystematic management procedures, among others, Cuong added.

Participants at the event also agreed the need to re-evaluate the current land financial policies as well as consider restructuring the organisation and process of how to determine the value of state assets.

Nguyen Xuan Long, director of central Khanh Hoa Province's Finance Department, said the market price for land on Tran Phu Street, considered the golden street in Nha Trang City, was VND200 million ($9,500) per sq.m, while the province's Department of Natural Resources marked the price at VND80 million ($3,800).

Cuong said that Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Natural Resources agreed that the Government's position was not to determine state-owned land prices, but to provide guidelines and instructions for local levels to determine land prices according to market supply and demand.

Price calculations would soon take into account all relevant factors in each locality, and be adjusted in accordance with market fluctuations so these prices could be used for determining levels of compensation in cases where the Government wanted to withdraw the land. – VNS

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