Trụ sở: Phòng 315, tầng3, Số nhà 33, ngõ 30, phố Hoa Lâm, phường Việt Hưng, quận Long Biên, thành phố Hà Nội.
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    NA deputies decry use of golf courses to build villas
    Update :Wednesday, 6-17-2009

    VietNamNet Bridge – Many National Assembly (NA) deputies say that the NA needs to issue a resolution to strictly supervise the use of agricultural land, including land for golf courses.

     

    The An Phu golf course project in HCM City.

     

    Disguised business

     

    After several field trips to meet with voters, NA deputy Nguyen Lan Dung said: “All green bamboo rows have gone, to be replaced by industrial zones and golf courses.”

     

    Dung added: Golf courses ought to have been built in midland or mountainous areas. In Vietnam, to save money in building roads, golf courses are built on flat, agricultural land and even fat land. The area of land devoted to golf courses is greater than necessary.

     

    “Land claimed for golf course projects is not for building golf courses, but to build villas for sale at towering prices. Meanwhile, compensation paid to farmers is very low. Where does the profit go? To the foreign owners of golf courses. I feel great anguish at that fact. Farmers lose land while golfers are few,” Dung said.

     

    The area devoted to villas at golf courses in Vietnam is estimated at 30,000 hectares.

     

    At a recent seminar on golf courses, Dr. Le Van Thien from the Hanoi University for Natural Sciences said that of 144 licenced and approved golf course projects in 39 provinces and cities in Vietnam, only 20 projects are real golf courses. The remaining are golf courses and real estate projects. The actual area of land for building golf courses accounts for around one-third of the land for villas, hotels and restaurants.

     

    “My point of view is golf courses are for playing golf only, not for real estate business,” said the NA’s Economic Committee Chairman Ha Van Hien.

     

    Deputy Nguyen Dang Trung from HCM City said that this is a form of “disguised, illegal business”.

     

    Wholesale approval of golf projects

     

    Saying that the current management scheme has created gaps in policies which benefit some individuals, NA Deputy Pham Thi Loan explained: The wholesale approval of golf projects and lack of transparency in the inspection process has led to this form of disguised business.”

     

    “If golf projects are approved as golf projects but the land is used for other purposes, the responsibility is the investors. If golf projects are approved with accompanied services and with larger area than demanded, the responsibility is the officials who approved the plan,” the NA’s Economic Committee Chairman Ha Van Hien said.

     

    Hien said there needs to be different criteria for the areas of golf courses, depending on whether they are 18- or 26-hole, to allot suitable areas of land. He believes that with the criteria, government agencies would be unable to approve up to 100 hectares of land for a golf course if it only needs 60 hectares of land.

     

    NA must be tough

     

    Loan said that investors have to pay compensation if they change the purposes of land use as compensation for land differs depending on the registered purpose.

     

    For golf course projects in Hanoi, Loan suggested the local government take back land areas that are not being used for the registered purposes.

     

    The NA’s Economic Committee Chairman Ha Van Hien said management agencies have to review the use of land for golf courses and to have criteria on land area for golf courses.

     

    “Land does not multiply. Moreover, this sport (golf) requires mountainous or half-mountain half-plain topography. We have to restrict the granting of agricultural land for building golf courses,” Hien said.

     

    According to NA deputy Le Nhu Tien, to have land for the 76 golf projects which have been built or are being built, Vietnam will have to “sacrifice” 23,832 hectares, including 9,487 hectares of agricultural and rice area.

     

    Citing the example of Hanoi turning the centre for Cuban cow research and cow freeze-dried sperm provision into a golf course, deputy Nguyen Lan Dung said: “The NA must have a tough attitude and issue a resolution that bans the use of agricultural land to build golf courses and industrial zones.”

     

    Hanoi’s Deputy Tran Thi Quoc Khanh affirmed that Hanoi would strengthen its supervision of projects and propose the government claim back land from projects that aren’t using land for the right purposes.

     

    Last August, the Prime Minister asked for a check of every golf course to prevent the wrong use of land. Early this year, the Ministry of Planning and Investment submitted to the Prime Minister the master plan for golf courses in Vietnam.

     

    Le Nhung – Xuan Linh

     

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