Bac Ninh Natural Resources and Environment Sector: Actively Contributing to Business, Investment Environment Improvement

4:05:05 PM | 27/4/2016

Bac Ninh has the smallest natural area, but amongst 63 provinces and cities of Vietnam, it is the province that gathers the most quality craft villages. “Cleanliness” on the ground and in the environment of craft villages is a crucial factor to this achievement and it is the responsibility of Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Mr Nguyen Dai Dong, Deputy Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Bac Ninh discussed measures to redress environmental pollution in craft villages and some other issues in improving the business environment in the area. Ngo Khuyen reports.
 
Environmental pollution in craft villages in Bac Ninh has been raising alarms over the years, so what kinds of solutions has the Department implemented or advised authorities to put into place?
Bac Ninh currently has 62 craft villages, of which 30 are practising traditional crafts. They share similar characteristics including: small production scale, manual manufacture that is out-of-date, materials and fuel consuming and pollution inducing. In order to redress environmental pollution in craft villages, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment has been following certain directions and implementing solutions as follows:
 
First, to promote the propaganda of policies and laws on environmental protection on mass media, especially the amended Environmental Protection Law 2014; focus on building environmental protection capacity for officials in charge at all levels; encourage villages to apply modern technology which is environment friendly.
 
Second, to advise the Provincial People’s Committee in the issue of documents specifying the Environment Protection Law 2014; support villages, especially traditional craft villages, in upgrading infrastructure, implementing planning, relocating and conversing manufacturing industries.
 
Third, to implement approved programmes, schemes and projects of environmental pollution treatment in craft villages. Specifically, in 2016, the Department conducted an environment survey and assessment project in Bac Ninh’s craft villages to establish a clear picture about its environmental quality and based on that developing specific roadmap to tackle pollution issues in each village and industrial complex; the Department simultaneously proposed to the PPC to modify the craft village environmental protection regulations in order to have a tighter administration over new craft industries as well as to have a stronger sanctions for environmental protection violation.
 
Fourth, to strengthen inspection and examination as well as the capability in handling cases of environmental protection violation; adopt Craft Village Environmental Protection Regulations, implement tough sanctions against polluting facilities that cause serious consequences, facilities that violate environmental protection laws intentionally.
 
Fifth, to promote the socialisation of handling environmental pollution violations in craft villages.
 
The General Planning of Bac Ninh urban areas to 2030, with vision toward 2050, is expected to bring about enormous changes in the work of planning as well as the purposes of using land. Which measures and activities has Bac Ninh Department of Natural Resources and Environment pursued to support the implementation of this project?
The General Planning of Bac Ninh urban areas to 2030, with vision toward 2050, approved by the Prime Minister provides a planning covering an area of about 26,326 ha, including the area of Bac Ninh City, Tien Du District, Tu Son Town and three communes of Han Quang, Yen Gia and Chi Lang in Que Vo district. The objective is to build and develop Bac Ninh into a Class I urban area by the late twenties of the twenty-first century, a platform to upgrade the province into a central-under city before 2030 and the city of culture and ecology, towards intellectual economy and smart urban.
 
To facilitate the project, the Natural Resources and Environment sector has proposed the PPC to direct branches and levels to perform the following solutions:
 
Regarding planning, Bac Ninh should continue to strengthen the planning and implementation of land use planning in synchronisation with the overall socio- economic planning, the general urban planning of Bac Ninh as well as the industrial development planning in the province; simultaneously promote the partition of urban, rural and rice-growing area, allowing the conversion of rice fields into non-agricultural areas. The province has been firm on retrieving land allocated to agencies, organisations and businesses which failed to put it into use or showed a lack of efficiency.
 
Regarding land use, planning should be complied to ensure economy and efficiency as well as to improve utilisation.
 
Regarding the application of science and technology in the field of natural resources, Bac Ninh should strengthen the database of land management as well as forecasts in order to improve the feasibility of land use planning.
 
On land protection, land reclamation and environmental protection, in line with investing in waste management projects in industrial parks and complexes, hospitals and urban areas, the province has been more resolute in relocating production facilities causing pollution away from residential areas as planned.
 
Regarding investment, Bac Ninh will focus on land revenue, especially on building a quality land fund for auction in order to raise capital for infrastructure construction; invest synchronously and in association with the layout of concentrated residential areas towards urbanisation.
 
While the PCI has been improved, the land access index of the province has been going through up and down, most notably, in 2014, it fell to the lowest level of 5.38; what is your opinion on this issue?
The land access index of Bac Ninh Province in 2014 was 5.38, down 1.32 points compared to 2013, ranked 50/63 provinces and cities nationwide, of which there are four component indexes that fell on a year on year basis including:
 
(1) Businesses that have premises and certificates of land use rights: 43.48 percent (76.54 percent in 2013);
 
(2) Businesses that do not encounter premise difficulties: 23.81 percent (42.74 percent in 2013);
 
(3) Businesses that perform land related administrative procedures within two years but did not encounter any procedural difficulty: 31.58 percent (61.54 percent in 2013);
 
(4) Businesses that wish to secure land use certificates but couldn’t due to cumbersome administrative procedures/concern of harassment: 34.18 percent (20.69 percent in 2013).
 
Of those four components, there were two indexes (3) and (4) that slipped deeply, directly impacting the drop of the remaining indicators.
 
The causes of the drop of land access indexes:
1. In 2014, the province had 849 new companies registering, 155 new projects granted investment certificates, and meanwhile the land fund remained limited, causing difficulties in meeting the land demand of enterprises.
 
2. Policy on land went through much change in 2014, especially when this was the first year to implement the Land Law 2013 with many amendments and supplements compared to the Land Law 2003. However, soon after being put into implementation, issues that had not been addressed in the law started to emerge, causing difficulties for governmental agencies as well as enterprises.
 
3. Firmer land management thanks to closer inspection, examination, treatment and retrieval of projects that violated the Land Law.
 
4. The process of location was more continuous: the Construction Department worked in coordination with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the Department of Planning and Investment and other relevant agencies to evaluate applications, to reach an agreement on land use planning before submitting applications to the Chairman of PPC for approvals allowing investors to survey the site and establish investment and construction projects.
 
5. Difficulties in land clearance such as lack of capital; limited capability of some investors and contractors; Compensation policy frequently adjusted towards more favourable to land owners tended to drive them to drag time to gain more benefit; coordination in the activities of compensation, support remained slow, etc.
 
For the period 2015 -2016, which plans and measures has the Department advised to implement or implemented to further improve those indexes?
In order to improve the land access index of the province, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment has been implementing the following plans:
 
First, to continue keeping public and transparent administrative procedures in the One Stop Shop office of the province, while reducing the issue time frame for certificates such as land use rights, ownership of houses and other assets attached to the land for organisations, in particular cutting down the cost for procedures and dossiers, consider this an important measure to help enterprises solve current difficulties. To implement Decision 09/2015 / QD-UBND of the PPC dated March 23 2015, in particular the content of reducing the time frame for registration and issue of certificates of land use rights for enterprises who are using land allocated or leased by the State to 19 days from 30 days before.
 
To build regulations to implement the OSS mechanisms for handling administrative procedure of land related issues apply in Bac Ninh province, projected to be put into operation in May 2016.
 
Second, to focus on investment, speeding up infrastructure construction to attract investment; produce satisfactory settlement for rights and obligations (including financial obligations) of economic sectors in order to ensure fairness and transparency.
 
Third, to establish regulations on coordination between divisions and units of the Department in the work of geodesy and cartography, the evaluation of land acquisition records, land allocation, land lease; the issue of certificate of land use rights; the evaluation and approval process of environmental impact reports.
 
Fourth, to strengthen coordination with other agencies relevant to land access issue: with the Department of Construction in the evaluation of projects applying for site survey; with the Department of Planning and Investment in the evaluation of investment projects; with the Department of Finance, the Tax Department and People’s Committees of districts, towns and cities in developing financial mechanisms for land and financial obligations in land owners’ land use.
 
Fifth, to answer businesses frequently and timely about obstacles encountered during land access.
 
Sixth, to assign responsibility to civil servants and staff in allocated tasks; improve professional competence and ethical qualities.

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