International experts have made several proposals to revise Vietnam’s Land Law, enhance the efficiency of land use, and foster sustainable development.
Farming land use may be used for perennial plant growing, forest land and aquaculture
Joint land policy recommendations by the World Bank and the United Nations in Vietnam were announced on November 5 in Hanoi, prior to the Vietnamese National Assembly’s discussion sessions on amendments to the Land Law.
According to international experts, in order to ensure equality and transparency in land withdrawals, Vietnam should restrict the government’s coercive land revocation policies for the purposes of national defence, security and public infrastructure development.
The country should work out detailed regulations on such kind of projects, allow land purchases and reoccupation for economic development upon the mutual agreement by the two concerning parties, instead of the current coercive methods.
They suggested that Vietnam set up an effective, equal and responsible mechanism to deal with complaints involved in investment projects in order to prevent possible land-related disputes, foster the project implementation and ensure social order.
Instead of the government currently deciding land compensation prices, independent agencies at provincial and central levels should appraised and approve the levels of land and asset compensation based on market prices. A land pricing service agency selected by concerned parties would be responsible for studying market land prices.
Permanent land use rights proposed
Development cooperation partners said that the current 20-year land use limit for farming, aquaculture and salt production and 50-year term for perennial plants and forest growing by individuals and households were inappropriate.
They recommended that Vietnam apply permanent or longer agricultural land use rights for individuals and households. In case that a limit on the term of land use is needed, the government should stipulate solutions upon the termination of the use rights.
The government should remove or widen the limits on agricultural land allocation for individuals and households. Under the current regulations, agricultural land allocations for annual plants are limited at three hectares, for perennial plants in lowland areas at 10 hectares, and for perennial plants in midlands, mountainous and forest areas at 30 hectares.
The country should also allow changes in purpose for farming land use from rice cultivation into perennial plant growing, forest land and aquaculture at least in areas that have low rice outputs, they said.
In order to ensure land use rights among the vulnerable, including women, the poor and ethnic people, it’s necessary to name both husband and wife in the land use right certificate so they are recognised as common assets.
The court should be the only agency that has the right to revoke granted certificates for land use rights and land assets, except for coercive withdrawal cases in accordance with the current regulations.
Poor and low-income people should be exempted or pay reduced fees to complete procedures for land registration and land use right certificates for the first time. Meanwhile, housing land should not only include land for house construction but gardening land and pond areas nearby the housing land lot.
In a bid to enhance the efficiency of land management, they proposed that Vietnam should grant autonomy to provincial people’s committees to realise state management over land without decentralising the authority to district level. Land management at central level should focus on the development of policies and laws as well as building and operating a supervision and assessment system so as to support the law enforcement at local level.
They added that all land regulations should be made public in order to improve people’s understanding and foster the fight against land-related corruption. The country also needed to build a comprehensive national land database.
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