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October 25, 2021, 5:39 am

Relevant ministries keep arguing about forest development fund

(09:48:32 AM 18/11/2013)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) affirmed that hydropower project investors have not paid any dong to the forest development fund as required.


The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) affirmed that the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), put under the management of MOIT, the investor of many hydropower projects, has paid up all the money it has to pay.


Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance (MOF), assigned to control the nation’s budget, said MOF is not involved in the case.


Lai Van Duong, a senior official of MOF, answering the interview to Dat Viet newspaper, said the Forest Development Fund is put under the management of MARD, but it is MOIT which has the responsibility of urging hydropower project investors to pay money to the fund. Meanwhile, MOF does not have any job in the case.


“As far as I know, there is a fund management council put under the management of MARD. The council, with its staff, can supervise who has paid and has not paid money. How can MOF know this?” Duong said.


“The receipts and expenses of the fund need to be implemented in accordance with the Decree No 99. Everything is clear,” he continued.


After MOIT said that EVN has paid the VND300 billion to the fund as required, MARD has once again affirmed that the forest development fund has not got the sum of money.


On November 11, Pham Hong Luong, Deputy Director of the Planning and Finance Department of the General Forestry Directorate, once again confirmed that no dong has been paid to the fund.


“It is not true. MARD is ready for a direct talk with MOIT on the issue, Luong said, when reporters told him that MOIT has affirmed that EVN has made payment.


Luong complained that the legal loopholes have lent a hand to hydropower investors to defy the laws. In the report to the government and the National Assembly’s Environment Committee, the forestry directorate pointed out the problems.


Prior to that, Le Tuan Phong, Deputy General Director of the MOIT’s Energy General Directorate, violently criticized MARD for not fulfilling its responsibility of developing the forests.


“In 2012, most of the localities, where there are big hydropower projects, collected hundreds of billions of dong from the projects’ investors. The localities in the north, where there are small hydropower plants, also collected tens of billions of dong. The money all has gone to the forest development fund,” Phong said.


He stressed that all the money has been given to local people for the forest re-planting.


 “It is the MARD which has to give the answer to the question why only 1,000 hectares of forests has been re-planted, while 20,000 hectares of forests have been cleared for the hydropower plant development. It is the MARD’s responsibility, while it is to blame on MOIT?” he said.


In principle, MARD takes the responsibility of managing the forest development fund to ensure that forests can be protected and developed. However, the ministry says it is an impossible mission, because it does not have money to do that if power project investors don’t pay money.

Dat Viet

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