The high anticipated passing of the amended Land Law will now wait until October in an admission it is still a work in progress.
Some 83.9 per cent of National Assembly deputies last week agreed to delay the law’s approval to fine-tune it with the knowledge it will have far reaching consequences for the nation.
The National Assembly Standing Committee said 292 out of 348 deputies voted to postpone the revised Land Law till its next meeting, with it expected to take effect from January, 2014.
“It is an important law. It will have great and drastic socio-economic impacts,” the committee stated.
Moreover, some contents of the revised law are closely related to the draft amendment of the 1992 Constitution.
“Meanwhile, the draft amendment of the 1992 Constitution is still under debate based on the opinion collected from people, National Assembly deputies, agencies and organisations. Therefore, it is essential to postpone the approval of the revised land law after the amended 1992 Constitution is approved,” the committee stated.
The issue of the revised Land Law was discussed at the Vietnam Business Forum in May this year, where Land sub-group member David Lim said land allocation, land leasing, clearance and land compensation, land dispute resolutions and difference in land compensation prices were big issues.
“In practice, the lack of clarity and consistency between land allocation and lease procedures and investment procedures have caused obstacles and delays to many projects,” he said.
On land clearance and compensation, the revised law only provides the procedures for land clearance and land compensation involving the state. It was still silent for the procedures where an investor undertakes the compensation process without involvement of the state, he said.
In order to solve successfully disputes on land, Lim suggested that the revised law could provide a clear mechanism for taking matters forward in this case where one party does not co-operate.
Land compensation, repossession and mortgages were the main issues debated by the National Assembly.
Deputy Tran Ngoc Vinh from Haiphong said land use right was an asset which should be secured by the law.
“Land acquisition should only be applied to owners who have violations on land legislation. While legal assets of individuals and organisations built on that land should be compulsorily purchased. Therefore, users have a full of rights. So when the state gives the right to use the land, individuals and organisations should be guaranteed and the state would repossess the land whenever it is devoted to economic and social development,” he added.
“What I want to emphasize here is the compulsory purchase of land use rights rather than compulsory purchase of land,” he said.
Another issue hotly debated was land compensation prices and procedures.
Deputy Nguyen Thanh Thuy from Hau Giang province stressed that the current price of land was out of date. “The fact is that land prices promulgated by people’s committees are usually much lower than those in the real market.”
The land price regulated by local authorities in Hanoi, Thuy said, was just 40 per cent of the real price in the market. This figure is from 18 to 30 per cent in Ho Chi Minh City.
Danang deputy Huynh Nghia proposed an official auction for projects to ensure the rights of the people who had land recovered as well as to ensure an enough compensation for them to restructure and rebuild their earnings.
By Bich Ngoc