Gov't officials escape punishment for Vinashin debacle

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his subordinates will not be punished for their responsibility in the huge debt run up by state-owned shipbuilder Vinashin, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung said at the National Assembly session opened Monday (March 21).


The high-ranking officials have "strictly reviewed" their shortcomings which were found not so critical that they have to be punished, Hung said, citing the central government inspectors' conclusion and proposal to the Party Politburo.


The Politburo has, after full consideration, decided to exempt them from punishment, Hung said.


Established in 1996, Vinashin was found to haved racked up debts totaling VND86 trillion (US$4.4 billion) in June 2010, including more than VND100 billion ($5.13 million) in salaries. It was on the verge of bankruptcy when details of its debt were revealed.


Following the findings, authorities have so far arrested eight of its former officials, including Pham Thanh Binh, the company's former chairman and chief executive officer.


However, the shipbuilder has since made initial progresses in restructuring, Hung said. Many of its cargo ships have resumed  operation and workers' jobs and incomes have been ensured, he added.

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