Vietnam to get tough on wasteful use of land by state-owned firms

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The government will take tough action to prevent the wasteful use of public land in Vietnam by state-owned companies, an official said Friday.

"If you look around, all the best spots belong to government agencies and state enterprises," said Pham Dinh Cuong, head of the State Property Management Bureau under the Ministry of Finance.

The problem is, he said, land resources have not been used effectively as many organizations and companies just lease their land to get money instead of using the land to serve their main business purposes.

They try to hold onto land even though the government has ordered them to return it so that the resources can be reallocated, he told a conference in Hanoi.

"When everyone still thinks about their own interest rather than the greater good, it's very difficult for the government to reclaim the land," Cuong said, noting that the government is nevertheless determined to reorganize land resources.

According to the State Property Management Bureau, state enterprises are now managing a total 155 million square meters of land. Although many of them do not have enough capital to restructure their business, they refuse to sell or put their land into good use, the bureau said, citing shipbuilding company Vinashin with 1,200 hectares of unused land as an example.

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