HCM City approves major projects investments

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council approved a decision on August 26 to invest in 280 planned projects worth over VND62.54 trillion (US$2.8 billion) using the municipal budget. The city also gave the green light to 95 other unplanned budget-funded projects valued at VND13 trillion (US$590 million). Additionally, the council passed four projects using the State budget with total investment of over VND2.71 billion (US$120,400) as well as five others funded by Government bonds worth over VND2.68 trillion (US$119 million). All the projects focus on building infrastructure to serve local residents and the city’s socio-economic development. According to the council’s Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, it is necessary for local departments to avoid the sluggish allocation of capital due to lengthy administrative procedures while continuing to build investment criteria for under-VND30 million projects to suit the city’s realities. The council also approved the … [Read more...]

Councillors oppose clearing of Can Gio Biosphere forest

HCM CITY (VNS) — HCM City People' Council has rejected a proposal made by the city government to clear 500sq.m of forest in Can Gio Biosphere Reserve to build a forest protection station. The city's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's plan to cut down trees in the forest will be delayed until an area without trees is found. The 74,000ha Can Gio Forest is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The HCM City's People's Council's Economics and Budget Commission said that every tree in the area should be protected. A representative from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said the planned area was small and that the station would be built in an outlying area. It would also help protect 7,000ha core of the forest. Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, Chairwoman of HCM City's People's Committee, suggested another place in Can Gio to build the station. The city council, however, approve the city government's proposal to allocate 4,300sq.m land to build the An Thoi Dong School … [Read more...]

Ministry proposes halting bike road maintenance fee collections

Le Anh The ministry made the proposal weeks after the Ministry of Transport wrote to the Government asking for a halt to the fee collection nationwide from early next year pending amendments to related legal documents. The finance ministry said in a recent document sent to the Government and the transport ministry that many problems had emerged in the collection process as motorcycles are owners’ assets and are not subject to periodical checks by relevant agencies. The fee is hard to collect as riders are not necessarily owners. Another reason is that many motorbike owners including students and workers have brought their bikes to places far from the places of bike registration. As there is a lack of punitive measures against late fee payers, it is unfair for motorcycle owners who have paid the fee. Therefore, the finance ministry agreed with the transport ministry to propose the Government drop the road maintenance fee on motorcycles from early 2016 before amendments to … [Read more...]

HCM City, South Africa’s Johannesburg city seek to beef up ties

Ho Chi Minh City and South Africa’s Johannesburg city should coordinate closer to realise signed agreements and make their affiliation deeper and more effective, proposed Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council. Meeting a visiting delegation from Johannesburg city led by Council Speaker Constance Bontle Bapela on August 19, Tam noted that although the two cities have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation since 2009, they have yet to conduct any specific partnership programmes. She held that trade collaboration between the two cities has yet to meet its high potential. Tam also suggested that Ho Chi Minh City and Johannesburg should share experience in areas of shared concern, including political activities of the two people’s councils. For her part, Constance Bontle Bapela said the two cities can learn from each other’s experience in various fields, including political activities. She said her visit … [Read more...]

Breakfast @ Tuoi Tre News – August 20

Here are the most important news stories about Vietnam you do not want to miss today, August 20. Politics -- Vietnam and Pakistan held the first political consultation in Hanoi on Wednesday, which focused on fostering the traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries. -- Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council, met a delegation from the South African city of Johannesburg on Wednesday, when she suggested the two cities coordinate more closely and strengthen their affiliation. Society -- Nguyen Thi Phuong, a Vietnamese woman who looked like an 80-year-old in her twenties, died at 30 on Wednesday after failing to battle her stomach ulcer. -- Dai Nam JSC, the operator of the popular theme park of the same name in the southern province of Binh Duong, has been asked to repay VND99 billion (US$4.42 million) in tax arrears, a request company chairman Huynh Uy Dung said is unreasonable. -- A water tank inside … [Read more...]

HCM City, Johannesburg seek to strengthen ties

NDO/VNA - Ho Chi Minh City and Johannesburg city of South Africa should coordinate closer to realise signed agreements and deepen their affiliation so that collaboration will be more effective, proposed Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council. Meeting with a high-ranking delegation from Johannesburg city led by Council Speaker Constance Bontle Bapela on August 19, Tam noted that although the two cities signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in 2009, they are yet to conduct any specific partnership programmes. She held that trade collaboration between the two cities has yet to meet its full potential. Tam also asserted that Ho Chi Minh City and Johannesburg should share experience in areas of mutual concern, including political activities of the two people’s councils. For her part, Constance Bontle Bapela said that the two cities could learn from each other’s experience in various fields, including political … [Read more...]

HCMC honors 15 winners of Ton Duc Thang Award 2015

Relatives of an award winner (Photo: SGGP)

The organizing board of Ton Duc Thang Award 2015 governed by The Ho Chi Minh City Labor Union and Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper hosted an awarding ceremony to honour 15 outstanding workers and engineers at Saigon Opera House last night. The union’s chairwoman Nguyen Thi Thu said that the award honored engineers and workers with initiatives in technical innovation and practical scientific projects, which have contributed in boosting the city’s development. The awarding ceremony was among activities to mark the 127th birthday of late president Ton Duc Thang, an eminent worker and venerable leader of Vietnamese worker class, August 20. Starting since 2000, the award has been given to 162 technicians and workers comprising 20 females from mechanics-manufacturing, electricity-industrial electronics, chemical-rubber-plastics and food processing, she said. They have made nonstop efforts to improve ability, access and apply science and technology advances and more create in … [Read more...]

1 million HCM City dwellers look forward to tap water access

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VietNamNet Bridge - Hundreds of thousands of households in the suburbs of HCM City have to save every drop of clean water as they have no access to tap water. A report shows that over 358,000 households in the districts of Thu Duc, Binh Chanh, Nha Ba, Can Gio and Cu Chi still do not have clean water for use. According to the HCM City People’s Council Chair Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, many people now have to buy clean water at VND20,000-30,000, or VND50,000 per cubic meter. In Hamlet 6 of Le Minh Xuan Commune in Binh Chanh District, people have to queue up every morning or afternoon to buy every can of clean water. Le Kim Thanh Thanh, 35, confirmed that she has to travel several kilometers every day to carry clean water. Thanh can put four 20-liter plastic cans on her self-modified vehicle and has to pay VND35,000 for one clean cubic meter. In large cities like Hanoi and HCM City, tap water is provided by state owned companies at less than VND10,000 per cubic meter. Thanh said … [Read more...]

Outlying HCM City districts lack supplies of fresh water

HCM CITY (VNS)— At least 95 per cent of underground fresh water in HCM City does not meet with the Ministry of Health's hygienic standards, while nearly 20 per cent or 358,000 households have no fresh water to use, delegates heard a meeting of the municipal People's Council held on Monday. "Last year, the city's People's Council released a resolution to provide fresh water for 100 per cent of households this year, but it has been difficult to reach the target," the chairwoman of the council, Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, was quoted as saying in the Voice of HCM City Broadcast. To provide fresh water for the remaining households, a 1,228 km pipeline system must be either upgraded or newly built, authorities said. The system includes a total of 2.2 million cu.m, 28 water supply stations, and 1,500 tanks and water treatment systems for more than 130,000 households. The total cost is estimated at VND2.2 trillion (US$100 million). "If the State budget has not provided enough capital, bank … [Read more...]

Financial shortfalls seen hitting 350 projects in HCMC

Illustrative image -- File photo

VietNamNet Bridge – The city would not be able to begin work on 352 state-funded projects next year due to financial shortfalls, according to the HCMC Department of Finance. The city government has asked the People’s Council of the city to approve these projects at the council’s 18th ongoing session but the council said it would consider them at its next sitting to give the city government more time to review them. The delay would affect the implementation of the projects, the department’s director Dao Thi Huong Lan told a discussion session Tuesday afternoon. According to Lan, if the council did not give the nod at its ongoing session, the departments of finance and planning-investment could not arrange funding for those projects. "Data of the Department of Planning and Investment shows the number of projects without capital arrangements in the second half of the year is 352," Lan said. Investment disbursements for state-financed projects in HCMC have … [Read more...]

HCM City tax agency takes responsibility for erroneous information

The HCMC Tax Department on July 29 admitted responsibility for wrongly naming 26 local enterprises as tax debtors. The department’s director Nguyen Dinh Tan said the agency has made public apologies to 26 enterprises which were publicized as tax debtors with a total amount of VND508 billion (nearly US$23.3 million) though they had fulfilled their tax obligations. Tan told the ongoing session of the HCMC People’s Council on July 29 that besides the apologies, the agency has seriously looked into why such inaccurate information appeared on the Ministry of Finance’s website. The agency regretted the mistake as it did not gather data carefully. Tan explained HCMC started applying an electronic tax management program last January, and there were some glitches related to data transfers from the old system to the new one. Tan said the department was told to identify slow tax payers and that without careful reviews, local tax offices submitted the names of 200 local … [Read more...]

HCM City against fees for motorbikes

HCM CITY (VNS) — The HCM City People's Council would scrap the motorbike fee if it had the right to do so, its chairwoman told the House on Tuesday during a discussion on the controversial annual fee. Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam had also expressed opposition to the fee at a recent National Assembly session. "Although we had a lot of doubts, the People's Council has issued a resolution saying the Government's decree should be followed," Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted her as saying at the meeting city. "[So] now the most important thing is how we can collect and effectively use the fee. I trust city residents will comply with the law." Nguyen Van Dua, a former deputy secretary of the city Party Committee, said collecting the fee is a way to mobilise people's strength. "We should encourage people to pay the fee because many other provinces that have a lower GDP than HCM City have already collected it. But Tran Trong Dung, a District 8 delegate, said his voters do not want to pay … [Read more...]

City tax agency takes responsibility for erroneous information

Van Nam The department’s director Nguyen Dinh Tan said the agency has made public apologies to 26 enterprises which were publicized as tax debtors with a total amount of VND508 billion (nearly US$23.3 million) though they had fulfilled their tax obligations. Tan told the ongoing session of the HCMC People’s Council on July 29 that besides the apologies, the agency has seriously looked into why such inaccurate information appeared on the Ministry of Finance’s website. The agency regretted the mistake as it did not gather data carefully. Tan explained HCMC started applying an electronic tax management program last January, and there were some glitches related to data transfers from the old system to the new one. Tan said the department was told to identify slow tax payers and that without careful reviews, local tax offices submitted the names of 200 local tax debtors to the Ministry of Finance for publicizing on its website. Tan said as false information about … [Read more...]

Financial shortfalls seen hitting 350 projects in city

Van Nam The city government has asked the People’s Council of the city to approve these projects at the council’s 18th ongoing session but the council said it would consider them at its next sitting to give the city government more time to review them. The delay would affect the implementation of the projects, the department’s director Dao Thi Huong Lan told a discussion session Tuesday afternoon. According to Lan, if the council did not give the nod at its ongoing session, the departments of finance and planning-investment could not arrange funding for those projects. "Data of the Department of Planning and Investment shows the number of projects without capital arrangements in the second half of the year is 352," Lan said. Investment disbursements for state-financed projects in HCMC have almost reached half of the full year’s target in the year to date. If capital is not allocated for new projects, investment disbursements and implementation of … [Read more...]

HCMC council members present opposite opinions of road maintenance fee

A delegate speaks at the opening session of the city People's Council (Photo: SGGP)

Debate on collection of road maintenance fee on motorbikes heated the first day of the 18th session of the 8th city People’s Council yesterday. Some council members agreed to halt while some said the toll was needed for developing traffic system. The Central Road Maintenance Fund has recently proposed the Government to halt charging the fee on motorbikes, so HCMC will continue collecting to abide by the law or should wait for the Government’s decision. Advocating the fee abolishment, Mr. Van Duc Muoi said that the policy did not accord with popularity. Mr. Ngo Minh Chau said that voters and residents expressed their desire that the Government would abolish the toll, whose collection organization had dissatisfied them because some people paid the fee while many others neither paid nor faced any sanction. Every people should be treated fairly. Besides, the Central Road Maintenance Fund’s proposal gained popularity, therefore HCMC should consider the matter towards … [Read more...]

HCMC council members to decide road maintenance fee on motorbikes

Most HCMC residents propose to abolish road maintenance fee on motorbikes (Photo: SGGP)

The 18th meeting of the 8th session of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council was opened this morning and scheduled to end on July 31 with the most interesting matter being road maintenance fee on motorbikes, which many council members and residents have proposed to abolish. The council’s chairwoman Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam told Sai Gon Giai Phong at the opening session that many issues related to the fee collection would be discussed at the session. If voters and council members found the fee collection too difficult, the People’s Council would ask the city People’s Committee to send the Government a report in writing on this issue. Most residents and the chairwoman had disagreed with fee collection because it was inconvincible, unreasonable, unfair, ineffective and unfeasible. Related article:Voters support proposal to abolish motorbike road maintenance fee … [Read more...]

City leaders visit policy-priority families

Chairwoman of HCMC People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam visits Vietnamese Heroic Mother Le Thi Ngan .(Photo: SGGP)

A city delegation and leaders yesterday visited and presented gifts to the families of Vietnamese Heroic Mothers, war martyrs, wounded soldiers marking the 68th anniversary of Vietnam's War Invalids and Martyrs Day on July 27. A delegation led by Deputy Secretary of HCMC Party Committee and Chairwoman of HCMC People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam visited and presented gifts to Vietnamese Heroic Mother Le Thi Ngan in district 11, Ho Chi Minh City whose one daughter and son sacrificed their lives in defending the nation. Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam expressed deeply her gratitude for the mother’s great losses and contributions for the country. On the same days, Deputy Secretary of HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong led city delegation to visit war invalids families and offered 62 gifts worth VND 50 millions to Long Dat Nursing Center for Wounded Soldiers and National Devotees. Deputy Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Hua Ngoc Thuan, Deputy Chairman of HCMC … [Read more...]

Voters support proposal to abolish motorbike road maintenance fee

Motorcyclists have already paid many kinds of fee (Photo: SGGP)

Many voters in Ho Chi Minh City have been of the opinion that the city People’s Council should organize a referendum for the proposal to abolish road maintenance fee on motorbikes in its 18th session scheduled from July 28-31. The decision of HCMC People’s Committee on the toll collection has been effective since May 1. Authorized agencies have provided training courses to implement the decision in 24 districts. However, Sai Gon Giai Phong reporters have recorded that no district has started collecting the road maintenance fee. Chairman of District 1 People’s Committee Pham Thanh Kien said that the district was waiting for further guidance from the city authorities and final decision from the month-end expected 18th session. Members of the People’s Council and voters have opposed to the road maintenance fee payment, saying it unfeasible and costly. In a recent meeting with a group of council members in Binh Thanh district, voters suggested eradicating the … [Read more...]

Lifting the burden

Phuong Thao In Vietnam motorbikes are not just a major means of transport but a fortune for a lot of poor families. Under the current regulations, each motorcycle shoulders a slew of taxes and fees already, so the road maintenance fee has made the already heavy financial burden even heavier as it is collected no matter whether bikes are in circulation or not. A Ministry of Finance rule requires all motorbike owners to pay up to VND100,000 (previously VND50,000-100,000) for motorbikes of 100cc or lower and VND150,000 (previously VND100,000-150,000) for motorbikes of more than 100cc. This means those rarely using roads suffer. When the Transport Ministry announced its plan to collect the fee in 2012, it stoked widespread criticism with naysayers pointing out that road users in Vietnam had already been burdened by a labyrinth of taxes and fees. Facing opposition from motorbike owners, a number of provinces showed hesitance. Debate on whether or not to do away with the road … [Read more...]

Vietnam ministry to propose that government halt road fee collection

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The Vietnamese Ministry of Transport on Thursday said it will urge the government to stop the collection of annual road maintenance fees from motorbike owners. Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang has ordered his ministry’s relevant agency to finalize a report to submit to the government a proposal to halt the collection, pending an amendment to Government Decree 18, which governs the fee charging. At a meeting held by the ministry on Tuesday, Le Hoang Minh, chief of the office of the central road maintenance fund, said that 32 local authorities had been asked for opinions on whether the fee should be maintained or not, and 30 of them answered the fee should continue to be collected. Authorities in Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Provinces suggested that the fee should be abolished, Minh said. However, Minister Thang told the meeting that the collection of this fee is facing many difficulties, so his ministry and the Ministry of Finance will propose that the government scrap … [Read more...]