City People's Council hears voters’ pleas

At a meeting of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Council on July 12 and 13, voters raised concerns over their prolonged temporary residential settlements, low compensation for land, and increasing environmental pollution.

Vice People's Committee Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Hong speaks at the meeting

According to Deputy Trinh Xuan Thieu, the current process of planning and awarding compensation was completely upside down, making people feel that they are forced to relocate.

He stressed that site clearance must take place after the authorities having arranged for new residential areas. However, fact is that people are moved first while they still do not know where to go, or where to live. Therefore, it is necessary to change the process so that site clearance is no longer a worry for people.

Another council member said most petitions by citizens to the legislative body relate to issues managed by the city administration, such as earmarking and freezing certain areas for future projects and low value paid for their land by the authorities.

Voters in Tan Binh District asked the government to reconsider a proposed golf course project near Tan Son Nhat International Airport, saying it will not benefit people, but only threaten flight safety.

Voters in District 12 said construction of an embankment along the Saigon River has been progressing far too slowly and the quality of workmanship was poor.

Binh Chanh District residents said that many roads and bridges in the district, such as An Ha Road, Nguyen Van Bua Road, Duong Dinh Cuc Road, and Doan Nguyen Tuan Road have deteriorated and badly in need of repairs.

Voters from Can Gio District urged authorities to help build houses for teachers coming from other far-flung coastal districts.

City voters raised the issue of companies and factories being the cause of environmental pollution but going unpunished.

Many people asked the council to consider and monitor the fees collected by educational institutions.

They also wanted the City Department of Education and the Ministry of Education and Training to reduce the curriculum for primary, junior, and senior high schools and scrap the high-school graduation exam.

Relating to the economy, Mr. Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the HCMC branch of State Bank of Vietnam, said by the end of the year, commercial banks have to boost credit growth in a variety of ways, such as commercial banks will be required to sit down with businesses to discuss bad debts and reduce production costs of enterprises.

He also informed that the State Bank has ordered commercial banks to exempt old debts, and reduce loan interest rates before July 15.

"From now, if any company has to borrow loans at more than 15 percent interest rate they must report to us so that we can immediately sanction the bank that violates the rules", said Nguyen Hoang Minh.

He also said that in June, commercial banks had disbursed loans to 4,200 companies with interest rates from 12- 13 percent per year on a total sum of VND 25,240 billion. Recently, banks actively worked with Tan Binh District and 11 small and medium enterprises to receive loans of nearly VND100 billion at interest rates from 12- 13 percent per year. 

In this session, the City Council also adopted the report of the HCMC People’s Committee on new parking fees and new names for three roads in the city.

The 12km road from Tan Son Nhat-Binh Loi-outer belt road, to be completed by 2014, will be named after the late PM Pham Van Dong. The eastern route project on the Avenue East-West of District 2 will be named Mai Chi Tho, after former Political bureau member.

Provincial Highway Route 10 and Route 10B in Binh Chanh and Binh Tan Districts, to be completed in 2012, will be named Tran Van Giau, after a scholar who had made great contributions to the war against the French colonialists.

The parking fees for motorcycles and automobiles will be increased about two to five times more than the current rate.

The monthly parking of bicycles and electric bicycles at VND30,000 will increase to VND50,000. Engine motorbikes under 175 cc will pay an increased VND150,000.

Translated by Dan

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