Draft Land Law must be completed prior to May 10
16:24 | 29/01/2013
VGP – PM Nguyen Tan Dung has tasked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to finalize the draft Land Law and submit to the National Assembly Standing Committee prior to May 10 this year.

The bill is now open for comments online on Nhan Dan and Labor newspapers, Government Portal, websites of the Ministry and People’s Councils and People’s Committees.

 Since Doi Moi (renovation), the State has issued four Land Laws: The Land Law 1987, the Land Law 1993, the amended Land Laws in 1998 and 2003.

The application of these laws requires a large number of bylaw documents (decrees, joint circulars and administrative guidelines). The amended 2003 Land Law will be approved in 2013.

The Land Law 1987 abolished the cooperative model and the State allocated land to farmers. The farmers were given a limited number of land use rights in 20 years.

In the 1993 Land Law, the State extended the land use right for farmers and allowed foreign investors to lease land. This law also recognized the value of land and the State has the right to value the land when it is converted to urban and industrial purposes.

The adjustments in 1998 increased protection of land use rights for domestic enterprises a lot. To increase the attractiveness to foreign investment, the Government had to keep land prices at low level and the land compensation was equivalent to just 10 to 30% of the market value.

The expansion of the market economy in Viet Nam has increased the production value of the land. Domestic and foreign investors, the land users in urban areas require their land use rights to be guaranteed.

The Land Law 2003 has solved this problem. The law has expanded the scope of protection of land use rights of land users, including the benefits attached to the land as the land use rights and land contribution as capital to establish a company. The land use rights allocated to investors and families for the purpose of building houses became the private property ownership which is protected firmly.

In contrast, there is not any fundamental change in the 2003 Land Law relating to agricultural land. The land allocation time of 20 years is still a big question: continuing to allocate land or abolish it? Farmers can exchange and transfer land, but they do not have the rights to decide the change of the land use purpose. When agricultural land is converted into non-agricultural land, farmers receive compensation based on agricultural land prices. The compensation is determined by the State.

This adversely affects the distribution of wealth in the country and increases social unrest. Compensation for land and the site clearance serving investment projects has faced growing opposition from citizens. In the past five years, the number of complaints and denunciations related to land has doubled, to 12,000 cases a year.

The National Assembly put the amendment of the Land Law in its agenda. It is needed to have special attention to create and ensure the rights of agricultural land and forest land. Vietnam needs to respond immediately to these problems to create fairness in law on distribution of welfare and ensure social harmony./.

By Huong Giang

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