Ministry proposes more golf courses despite public concerns

TN News

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Despite the public's outcry about the boom of golf courses across Vietnam and the consequences, the Ministry of Planning and Investment recently put forward proposals that would allow more golf courses to be built.

After inspectors from the ministry concluded their field trips to 90 golf courses in 34 cities and provinces last week, the ministry released a report with three options to implement with goals for more courses by the year 2020.

The first option suggests the government should revoke the licenses of five approved golf courses due to their prolonged delay of construction and replace them with five other golf projects, which means the number of golf courses will be maintained.

The second option suggests the government should add six more golf courses by 2020.

The third part of the proposal sets the goal that the country have a total 118 golf courses by 2020, or an increase of 28 golf courses.

Of the 90 golf courses under a zoning plan approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last year, only 24 are operational. The remaining golf course projects have their licenses pending the completion of the construction.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment's report found that 59 of the 90 projects used a total 15,653 hectares of land; 41 percent of which is farmland and 17 percent is forestry land.

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The report also found 21 golf projects are purported for golfing, and the remaining 69 projects combine golfing with real estate and tourism investment.

The investors made profit from selling and leasing villas inside the golf courses rather than making money from golf fees, the inspectors said.

Golf courses have boomed in Vietnam over the last few years and the public has raised questions about their benefits given their environmental and human effects.

Critics argue golf courses cause unemployment among impoverished farmers who lost their farmland to the golf projects, as well as pollution.

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