Facilitating Businesses to Access Land

10:27:39 AM | 25/5/2021

While stepping up administrative procedure reform, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment has advised and applied many solutions to manage and efficiently utilize natural resources and the environment and create favorable conditions for people and businesses to access land. To learn more about these efforts, the Vietnam Business Forum’s reporter has an interview with Mr. Duong Hoang Anh Tuan, Director of the Binh Phuoc Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

How has the Department of Natural Resources and Environment advised and applied solutions to facilitate businesses and investors in the past time?

In addition to publicity and transparency of planning information and legal policies on natural resources and environment in the province, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment also coordinated with the Department of Planning and Investment and other departments to advise the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People’s Council and the Provincial People’s Committee on many investment attraction policies. Notably, the department advised the Provincial People's Council to ratify Resolution 31/2017/NQ-HDND dated July 19, 2017 on investment incentive policies in Binh Phuoc province (amending and supplementing Resolution 14/2018/NQ-HDND dated December 14, 2018 and Resolution 01/2020/NQ-HDND dated March 24, 2020, now replaced by Resolution 02/2020/NQ-HDND dated July 13, 2020). Specifically, the new rules include the lists of industries and trades incentivized for land rent, water surface rent and land-use fee; allocated land and leased land from non-auctioned public land funds; discounted the fund for land compensation, ground clearance, or transfer of land -use rights. For incentivized projects, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment actively reviewed and streamlined administrative procedures to reduce time and provide best conditions for investors.

Given its advantage of a large land bank, Binh Phuoc is becoming a destination for many investors but the province also tends to selectively attract investors. Could you please describe this approach? What solutions is the department advising to draw more investment funds and ensure sustainable development?

Advantageously lying in the southern key economic zone with a large land bank, abundant mineral resources, an increasingly complete transportation system, an improved business environment, the province has attracted many big investors to locate their projects. However, Binh Phuoc has not drawn investors en masse, but selectively licensed capable ones with good projects. Licensed investment projects must meet environmental criteria and effectively use resources and energy to prevent environmental pollution and boost sustainable development.

As an advisory body on natural resources and environment, the department has made great efforts to manage the sector, allocate resources, ensure rapid and sustainable economic development, coupled with environmental protection. Policies and laws on environmental protection have been improved; administration methods have been reformed, shifted from passive response to active prevention of pollution risks from the investment stage. The department has strictly implemented appraisal procedures for environmental impact assessment reporting and project licensing; closely monitored large pollution-risk waste sources, not allowing production facilities that fail to meet environmental requirements.

In particular, the department has constantly accelerated tasks as per Plan 115/KH-UBND dated May 17, 2017 of the Provincial People’s Committee on implementation of the Resolution 04-NQ/TU dated March 31, 2017 of the Standing Board of the Provincial Party Committee on strengthening environmental protection in the province; stepped up management and supervision of everyday solid waste in river basins; reused, recycled and reduced plastic waste and carried out key tasks in the Dong Nai River Basin Environmental Protection Project; and zoned out wastewater reception sites in Binh Phuoc province to 2030.

Price surges on land scarcity in Binh Phuoc have hindered investment attraction and caused difficulty in administration. So, how should all levels of government act to manage, adjust, and regulate the market appropriately?

The public disclosure of land use plans at all levels in the province must comply with regulations on land. Major projects are all coordinated by the department, stakeholders and localities to incorporate annual district-level land-use plans, advise the Provincial People's Council for approval and submit to the Provincial People's Committee for enactment. Subsequently, the District People's Committees publicly announces projects, including a specific timetable for implementation. For key projects of the province, after reaching agreement on implementation policy, they are all publicized on the province's websites and informed to press agencies.

To balance market development, authorities at all levels need to step up inspection and reorganization of real estate brokerage to ensure regulatory compliance; strengthen strict management measures for land planning; and strictly handle unemployed land or land used by delayed investment projects. In addition, the province planned to actively offer the land fund to the market by launching auctions to sell land-use rights.

The “Access to land” Index of Binh Phuoc province decreased from 7.39 points in 2019 to 6.19 in 2020 (ranked No. 49 out of 63 provinces and cities) but the score picked up in the past five years. How do you think about this?

In recent years, the province has actively publicized land-use plans at working offices of communal government and on mass media. Reclaimed land, site clearance and land compensation are all notified to impacted organizations and individuals to build their confidence. Given their higher intellectual level, people can access information about land planning and land policies via various information channels. With the strong support and drastic direction of the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People's Committee, the Natural Resources and Environment Department has made great efforts to ensure publicity and transparency of resolving administrative procedures for people and businesses.

To maintain, promote advantages and overcome limitations, in the coming time, the department will further enhance publicity and transparency of information on land-use planning; invest to build a land database for people to easily search and access; apply information technology to settle administrative procedures; and upgrade provincial online public services to integrate into the national public service portal. The department will also advise on professional guidance for district authorities to manage land and inform people and businesses to easily access information about land.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum