Removing Barriers against Businesses in Land Access

9:17:06 AM | 1/9/2021

In 2021, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Ninh Binh province has striven to lift the Land Access Index to the Top 20 in the country.

Figuring out weaknesses

According to the rankings of the 2020 Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), the Access to Land Index of Ninh Binh province climbed six places to No. 23 out of 63 provinces and cities over 2019, but it tended to weaken and stay in the lower half of the ranking list.

The Access to Land Index is assessed by enterprises using 11 basic indicators. Of them, five indicators were still as weak as in 2019, including insufficiently available land fund (down 11 percentage points), inconvenient and slow provision of land information (down 8 percentage points), land expropriation risks (down 0.05 percentage points), the percentage of enterprises that carried out land administrative procedures in the last two years but did not face any procedural difficulties (down 9 percentage points), and enterprises that believed that if their land is recovered, they would be adequately compensated (down 5 percentage points). Two indicators did not improve in scores: The number of days waiting for the issuance of a land-use right certificate was 30 days (equal to the national median) and the percentage of enterprises that applied for the issuance of land-use right certificates but did not fear cumbersome administrative procedures/officer corruption was 13%. Only four indicators increased over 2019.

Clearly figuring out existing weaknesses, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment has endeavored to raise the Access to Land Index to the Top 20 in the country in 2021 by improving 11 component indicators.

Completing policies and procedures

Mr. Le Hung Thang, Deputy Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Ninh Binh province, said, to solve difficulties and obstacles for businesses to access land, it is very important to propose amendments and supplements to land policies. The department proposed competent authorities to revise documents within their jurisdiction.

For example, the Land Law needs to be revised and regulations added on land finance for the case of land auction for investor selection for implementation of land-using projects to ensure regulatory and enforcement consistency; specific regulations added on order and procedures for land allocation and land lease in case an investor is selected to carry out a project that uses land in the form of bidding. Amending the Land Law to unify regulations on determination of specific land prices is the authority of an agency (Department of Finance or Department of Natural Resources and Environment). The law also needs to be supplemented with regulations on support for garden and pond land in a greater land lot that is not defined as residential land in a residential area when the State reclaims such land for socioeconomic development purposes; and added with regulations on manufacturing and business projects using land in the form of transfer and lease of land use rights or capital contribution in the form of land use rights as stipulated in Article 73 of the Land Law.

In addition, the department will increase professional training courses on land administrative procedures and laws of the Government, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Provincial People’s Committee for officers from land management offices and land registration offices at all levels. Focus will be placed on internal processes and electronic processes of settling land-related administrative procedures. The department will continue to transparently disclose information on administrative procedures under its jurisdiction on its website and the Provincial Public Service Portal.

The department will connect and integrate the Provincial Electronic Single-Window System with the National Public Service Portal and inform local land management agencies to fulfil financial obligations for implementation of land administrative procedures on the National Public Service Portal, with the immediate application to the issuance of land-use right certificates to organizations, households and individuals.

Only when the perception and awareness of PCI of all the staff in the natural resources and environment sector is fundamentally changed, and central and local land regulations are integrated, will the Access to Land Index and the Provincial Competitiveness Index as a whole be upgraded.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum