PM says loss-making Vinashin is punishing people responsible

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Vietnam's shipbuilding giant Vinashin is weighing penalties for those responsible for its losses, the Prime Minister said, answering questions at a recent National Assembly session over the giant's debts.

Nguyen Tan Dung said the state-owned group has finished identifying people responsible for driving it to the edge of bankruptcy last year and is working on the punishments, news website VietNamNet reported on December 13.

The PM at a National Assembly meeting on November 25 received many questions, including those about the Vinashin case, but he did not have time to answer all of them, the report said.

Vinashin almost went bankrupt last year with debts totaling US$4.5 billion, prompting a nationwide investigation into the business operation of the group.

The investigation has finished with several people charged of violating economic management regulations, according to a government' report sent to the assembly members.

The Ministry of Public Security has detained nine members of the group and filed an international warrant for two others.

Several lawmakers at the meeting questioned how the people involved were punished and how the group has restructured itself for better performance.

The PM said in a written response that the group's restructuring has made some results. Shipbuilding yards, the core business of the group, have resumed operation and are making money.

He said several businesses from the group have been transferred to more suitable environments such as Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and Vietnam Shipping Corp. (Vinalines).

As of October 2011, 16 units of Vinashin have been dissolved and five merged with others, Dung said.

Pham Viet Muon, deputy head of Vietnam Standing Steering Committee for Business Reformation and Development, said at a meeting over the weekend that Vinashin will be equitized in 2020, together with 26 other state-owned groups.

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