The government has ordered Ho Chi Minh City to strictly deal with violations recently found in the city's major road project by this May.
Agencies and individuals responsible for violations found in the Tan Son Nhat Binh Loi beltway project have to be punished, it said.
The instructions came after a report prepared by the government inspectors and an explanation letter set by the city's People's Committee last month were studied by the central government.
According to the inspectors, municipal authorities had committed several violations in carrying out the US$172 million project invested in by Korean-owned GS Construction & Engineering Corporation.
By estimating the value of five pieces of lands leased out to the company in return for its investment before the actual lease time, the city has caused losses of over $44.3 million to the state budget, the inspectors said.
They also criticized the city authorities for adjusting the plan without acquiring approval from Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and related agencies.
The project originally called for a straight, 60-meter wide roadway, but the city changed it into two 20-meter wide sections spanning 1.5 kilometers of Tan Binh and Go Vap District. The modification drew complaints from many people in affected districts.
Inspectors proposed the government should order the city's authorities to negotiate with the investor again over the land's values as well as the project's cost which they said was "baseless."
However, in an urgent letter to the government later, the authorities gave explanations about the violations and asked for permission to continue with the project without further negotiation, because it would probably delay the project for many years.
Launched in June 2008, the beltway project aimed to connect the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Tan Binh District with northeastern areas of the city.
The plan initially anticipated that the road would come into use in 2013.