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Trillions of dong ‘buried’ in land, urban planning needs overhaul

Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Van Sinh has made three important proposals on urban planning that could help prevent false rumors and illegal profiteering, and control the real estate market.

Doan Thi Thanh My, Deputy General Director of the General Department of Land Administration (GDLA), said there are two big bottlenecks in the real estate market – policies and urban planning. 

Legal documents that guide the implementation of the 2013 Land Law took effect at the same time as the law. However, many problems have arisen in localities during the law’s implementation. 

“The Government, National Assembly and ministries have recently amended many legal documents which have a direct impact on the real estate market,” My said. 

Together with the Land Law, the Law on Real Estate Business and Housing Law have also been amended and supplemented, thus laying down a unified legal framework for the real estate market. 

Meanwhile, according to Luu Duc Cuong, Head of the National Institute of Urban and Rural Planning, there are three problems in urban development, including inconsistency in planning tool, lack of coordination among administrative agencies in implementing plans, and limited capability in urban development towards attracting real estate investors.

“It can be seen that pending projects and pending programs are hindering the attraction of investors. The planning bottlenecks include inconsistency between urban planning and land use planning. 

“Agencies are attaching too much importance to planning, and paying less attention on how to seek capital to implement planning. As a result, plans are designed but don’t consider the capital to be implemented. 

This is partially because, according to Cuong, involved parties, people and businesses cannot participate in the planning. They are not consulted during the process. 

Nguyen Thanh Hung, Director of the Hai Phong Construction Department, said two types of planning impact more than 2 million people. Without integration, direction and coordination, the problems, though minor, will hinder the development of projects.  

Also according to Hung, provinces are implementing planning on the basis of the national land use strategy. However, if land use cannot be clarified, some provinces may not use up the limits assigned to them, while others will not have enough land use limits. 

Hai Phong is developing on three pillars – seaport and logistics; industry and tourism. Problems exist in land use limits in industry and tourism, especially industrial land, golf course land, and land for large-scale sports works. As a result, it’s difficult to develop high-end real estate.

Removing bottlenecks 

Cuong said some experts have proposed removing planning levels to help investors quickly implement their projects.

Planning is a tool for urban development and the real estate market. It is a prerequisite to determine if the real estate market can develop. With good planning, there will be good projects. 

Cuong stressed that it’s necessary to remove bottlenecks, attract investment in real estate, harmonize the planning, enhance two-way linkages, and improve the planning process by consulting with involved parties. 

Sinh pointed out that housing demand from low income earners is very high throughout the country. Localities need to review the demand and determine investment scale to promote the development of this housing market segment. It’s necessary to implement social housing projects in localities for workers in industrial zones and the poor, creating supply and helping the market develop in a healthier way. 

In order to remove bottlenecks in planning and attract investment, Sinh made three proposals. First, plan well. Second, publicize the planning and the list of projects to avoid the spread of false rumors. And third, control the real estate market to be sure that the market develops in a healthy way.

Thuan Phong


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