Issue Related To The Gateway Thao Dien Project To Be Completely Resolved

Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

This is the statement made by Ms. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Nga, Deputy Chief Inspector of Ho Chi Minh City, in an interview with the Thanh Nien News concerning the “conflict” at Gateway Thao Dien (District 2) developed by SonKim Land.

Reporter: What is the policy of the HCMC People’s Committee (“HCMC PC”) on the resolution of this conflict?

Dep. Chief Inspector: Recently the HCMC PC has issued the Announcement No. 86 on the rejection of the claim of Mr. Tran Huu Phu (a son of Mrs. Nguyen Thi Truong) which accuses the District 2 People’s Committee (“District 2 PC”) and SonKim Land of the coercive recovery of the 675.7 m2 land for the execution of the Gateway Thao Dien project. The reason of the rejection is that the claims of the family of Mrs. Truong (“Truong family”) had been handled by the HCMC PC, the Ministry of Resources and Environment and the Prime Minister.

The recovery of 675.7 m2 land of the Truong’s family by the District 2 PC is conducted in accordance with the Decree No. 69 of the Government. The 675.7 m2 land area is a part of the land of the Gateway Thao Dien project developed by the SonKim Land which was allocated by the HCMC PC under the Decision No. 6015 in 2010. The inspection shows that after the District 2 PC recovered the 675.7 m2 land of the Truong’s family, SonKim Land has fenced the land and executed the project in accordance with the Approval Decision No. 23 of the Department of Construction. Therefore, Mr. Phu’s assertion that SonKim Land coercively recovered the land and executed the construction on the land, is not true.

Besides, HCMC PC is resolving the claim of the Truong family in accordance with the instruction of the Prime Minister and the Inspector General, which instructs SonKim Land to discuss with the Truong family. If the two parties fail to agree on the compensation, then an independent evaluator shall be appointed. If the parties fail to appoint an independent evaluator, the HCMC PC shall appoint a prestigious evaluator to evaluate the market price of the 675.7 m2 land area.

On 9 May 2016, the HCMC PC has issued the Official Letter No. 2121 to assign the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (“DONRE”) to lead and cooperate with the District 2 PC to work with SonKim Land and the Truong family to appoint the independent evaluator for the evaluation of the market price of the such land. However, the DONRE has invited the Truong family to join the meeting 3 times but the Truong family was absent for 3 times without any proper reason.

Reporter: What is the solution forward?

Dep. Chief Inspector: I have been involved in this case since the beginning and I always requested the developer to properly compensate the people. Up to now, the compensation has reached VND46 million/m2 for the agricultural land and 2 members of the Truong family have agreed to accept the compensation. From my experience, no matter how complicated a case is, it must come to an end. If the family does not cooperate to appoint an independent evaluator, the HCMC Inspector shall report to and advise the HCMC PC to appoint a prestigious independent evaluator to evaluate the market price of the 675.7 m2, then the compensation shall be determined and SonKim Land will be requested to transfer all the compensation to a bank account for the purpose of compensating the Truong family. When such works are done, the HCMC PC shall close this case and shall not accept any claim from the Truong family since the rights of the Truong family have been settled by the competent authorities in compliance with the standard procedure and the law.

Reporter: But recently the People’s Court of District 2 has rendered the judgement to revoke the Decision 13672 of the District 2 PC on the recovery of the land of the Truong family. So, in your opinion, does this affect the resolution process of this case and the implementation of the project?

Dep. Chief Inspector: The judgement of the People’s Court of District 2 shall not affect the implementation of the project by SonKim Land because this is an administrative lawsuit, not a civil lawsuit. If the District 2 PC failed to follow the standard procedure, the District 2 PC will report to the HCMC PC to conduct the procedure again in accordance with the law.

Reporter: After the People’s Court of District 2 rendered the decision to revoke the Decision No. 13672 of the District 2 PC on the land recovery, there is rumor that SonKim Land must return the land to the Truong family. Is that correct?

Dep. Chief Inspector: It will not affect anything, because in 2010 the HCMC PC passed the Decision No. 6015 to allocate the whole 10,943.7 m2 of land to SonKim Land for its investment execution, including 675.7 m2 of agricultural land of the Truong family. According to the Official Letter No. 7379 dated 22 September 2014 of the Office of the Government, the Prime Minister has also approved the continuance of the project. On 1 September 2009, the Department of Construction has passed the Decision No. 147 approving the project. Up to now, these decisions are still in effect. Thus, the project has sufficient legal basis. Ho Chi Minh City has allocated the land to SonKim Land, and SonKim Land has fulfilled all the financial obligations such as land use fee, tax…Therefore, the construction of the Gateway Thao Dien project shall be going on, SonKim Land will not have to return the land to the Truong family.

(This is an unofficial English Translation of an article carriout by Thanh Nien News on 17 August 2016)

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