Resettlement assistance fund needs topping up

A compensation fund for Ho Chi Minh City residents whose land has been used for development has run out of funds, leaving thousands of eligible families struggling to make a living.

Project investors have not been contributing enough to the resettlement assistance fund (Photo: SGGP)

Fund 156 is supposed to give resettled residents low-interest loans to help them reestablish businesses, find new jobs and assist families with tuition fees for education and training.

According to Ho Chi Minh Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (DoLISA), the fund management board has spent more than VND108.2 billion (US$6.1 million).

The board has spent VND4.8 billion to support tuition fees for 11,103 students and distributed over VND102 billion for 936 projects and provided 14,864 jobs.

The board said it has only VND15.4 billion left but has claims from 16,800 families totaling nearly VND11.45 billion. This does not include educational support and jobs for more than 60,000 households for 337 incomplete and 400 new projects, which need VND133 billion.

The board said that it will prioritize tuition fees and vocational training for the current academic year.

Project investors must pay from three to five percent of their total investment to the fund but many have failed to do so. Only contractors for projects in districts 4, 6, 9, Binh Thanh and Thu Duc have done so, contributing nearly VND45 billion to the fund.

The board expects VND600 billion from investors’ in 2009.
DoLISA said that to ensure the essential services and top up the fund, management board and people’s committees in districts 6, 8, 12 and Binh Thanh urged investors to pay.

Government guidelines on how much investors should pay are also not clear, with many district officials confused as to which investors must pay three percent and which investors five.

By Nhung Nguyen - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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