National Assembly goes after civil servant squatters

By Bao Cam, Thanh Nien News

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A state-owned house in Hanoi. Photo: Ngoc Thang A state-owned house in Hanoi. Photo: Ngoc Thang

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Lawmakers called on the government to punish civil servants found squatting in state-owned housing during a National Assembly session on Wednesday.
During a review of amendments to the Housing Law, NA lawmakers said mismanagement and misuse of the houses over the last few years had stirred public discontent.
Meanwhile, the Housing Law currently lacks clear instructions on the punishment of those who abuse the official privilege, they said.
In Vietnam, the government allows certain public officials to live in villas and apartments built with state funds when they are assigned to certain posts or missions that require them to live far from their homes.
When the civil servants retire or their missions end, they must leave the houses.
However, a large number of civil servants remain in the houses when their missions end, said NA deputy Tran Ngoc Vinh.
“The government should inform civil servants six months before their missions end that they will have to look for housing.
“Exept for high-ranking Communist Party and State leaders who must stay in these houses for security reasons, all civil servants should follow this rule.”
NA deputy Le Dinh Khanh said free houses should only be given to officials assigned to remote areas or islands.
Some lawmakers asked the government to prepare a summary report on the management and use of state-owned houses over the last few years so that they can discuss new regulations on the issue and add them to the amended Housing Law.
Deputy Le Nam said the government should decide which agency is in charge of managing state-owned houses – the Ministry of Construction, the Department of Public Property Management or the Ministry of Finance.
NA chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung said the government should narrow the scope of civil servants eligible for subsidized homes.

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