Vietnamese News. Translating into English. Members Of Dan Luan News On Line
*. Vietnamese Original News by BBC
English Version by TM1111
Two days after the conclusion of the Government Inspector (GI) alleged that land management violations in Da Nang led to a loss of more than VND 3.4 trillion, The Chairman of the People’s Committee of Đà Nẵng, Mr. Văn Hữu Chiến, issued his response, stating that “The Government Inspector’s allegation of under-collection of VND 3.434.254.712.950 (VND 3.4 trillion - USD 161 million) of state revenue for the government is groundless and without merit.”
According to this released report, “all projects inspected by the Government Inspectorate were carried out by the City according to land use regulations approved by the Prime Minister.”
The report also noted clearly, “the conclusion by the Government Inspectorate that ‘the planning and use of land was not well-based (on policies), not appropriate to the socio-economic development state or to actual needs of local areas, and that after leveling, clearing, transferring of land use rights, and leasing, most of the land was still left unutilized’, was all groundless allegation.”
According to the response, the conclusion by the Government Inspectorate that, “auctions for land use in the past years by the People’s Committee of Đà Nẵng, from setting up procedures to conducting auctions, were not executed correctly nor conforming to the clauses of the Land Law and of Decision #216/2005/QĐ-TTg issued by the Prime Minister’ was also groundless.”
In the meantime, Mr. Nguyễn Bá Thanh, on his part, also confirmed that the government of Đà Nẵng “acted appropriately within its authority”.
The Tuổi Trẻ quoted Mr. Thanh as saying that the Government Inspectorate’s conclusions were groundless, without merit, and far from reality.”
A Blow to Disable Somebody?
Is this a blow to disable Mr. Thanh?
Mr. Lê Hiếu Đằng questioned the motive behind the GI’s publication of its conclusions on land mismanagement in Đà Nẵng at this time.
Before the Government Inspectorate issued its findings of wrongdoing in land management by the government of Đà Nẵng City, which allegedly resulted in over VND 3.4 trillion of revenue loss for the state, there were opinions that the Party and the government systems were at odds with each other.
In an interview with BBC from Hồ Chí Minh City, Mr. Lê Hiếu Đằng, former Chairman of the City’s Fatherland Front, raised the argument that if there were actually such wrongdoing in Đà Nẵng, then “it must be made clear” before the City’s Party Secretary, Mr. Nguyễn Bá Thanh, was transferred to the central government.
“Everybody can see clearly that no sooner had Mr. Thanh been appointed Chief of Internal Affairs, the anti-corruption arm of the Party, than allegations of land mismanagement in Đà Nẵng surfaced,” he said.
“Although the allegations were directed against the government, the party secretary was also responsible, as the Party is the leader,” he added.
“In principle, appointment of the Chief of Internal Affairs must be approved by the Politburo and the Secretariat. Why didn’t the Central Organization know about the results of the GI inspection?” he questioned.
Mr. Đằng saw this as a step to disable Mr. Nguyễn Bá Thanh. “If the results of the inspection had been presented to the Politbureau before the Mr. Thanh’s appointment, then it would be a different matter.”
“Mr. Thanh is a man who dares to think and who dares to act. He led Đà Nẵng’s successful development, and resolved a number of other social problems in a bold manner,” said Mr. Lê Hiếu Đằng, former assistant chairman of the Fatherland Front, Hồ Chí Minh City.
In Mr. Đằng’s assessment, this is “a pretty serious matter” because the police was asked to investigate and prosecute any violation of the law, and it involved a large circle in Đà Nẵng, from the chairman to the assistant chairman, and other related departments.
Mr. Đằng also noted that reimbursement for appropriated land in Đà Nẵng was conducted “more smoothly than in other places”, and that land policies in Đà Nẵng “have yielded results.”
Mr. Đằng stated that even though he did not meet Mr. Thanh while still holding his position at the Fatherland Front, he had heard good compliments about him.
“Mr. Thanh is a man who dares to think and who dares to act. He successfully led Đà Nẵng’s development and also resolved other social problems rather boldly,” he said.
Mr. Nguyễn Bá Thanh explained that the 10% reduction granted to those who paid promptly for land use within 30 days of land grant was beneficial to both the government and the people. “The city was able to collect revenue promptly to invest in other projects and avoid inflation, and the people also benefited from it. Now, why would you call it a violation?” Mr. Thanh was quoted on the Tuổi Trẻ.
Mr. Văn Hữu Chiến, current chairman of the Đà Nẵng’s People Committee, also was quoted on the Tuổi Trẻ as saying that the timing of the GI announcement was “unusual” because these conclusions had been made two months ago.
Mr. Chiến said he was “surprised” by the manner in which the conclusions were publicized in the press.
The chairman of Đà Nẵng’s Committee complained that the GI hastened its publication of the conclusions, even though the Prime Minister had instructed departments from other ministries to get involved, and none of them have yet come to Đà Nẵng to do their work.
He also mentioned that during the inspection of Đà Nẵng, the Government Inspectorate did not listen to explanations presented by the City.