Gov’t to ask NA to waive charges for water exploitation rights

Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020 08:37

The Son La Hydropower Dam in the northern province of Son La.–

Thousands of businesses will not have to pay for the right to exploit water this year if a plan submitted by the Government is approved by the National Assembly.

The cut, estimated at VND1.4 trillion (US$60.2 million), aims to help the sector overcome the difficulties and losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was affecting all aspects of the economy and society, production had declined and been interrupted due to social distancing.

Ha said all affected businesses and people should be supported, including those involved in water exploitation.

The National Assembly and the Government have already issued support policies such as reducing corporate income tax by 30 per cent, export incentives, promoting the disbursement of public investment capital and ensuring social welfare. However, businesses involved in water resources have not received support policies from the Government.

“If this proposal is approved by the National Assembly, about 4,000 enterprises, organisations and individual business households will be exempt from paying anything from VND150,000 to VND116.3 billion, as in the case of the Son La Hydropower Company,” Ha said.

Ha said the waiver would offer direct support, helping businesses overcome difficulties caused by COVID-19, and indirect support such as reducing the risk of unemployment.

“It will also help to maintain jobs, which in turn limits social evils,” Ha said.

Of the estimated VND1.4 trillion to be cut, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue will be subject to the lowest waiver of VND42 million, while the northern mountainous province of Son La will see the highest cut of VND150 billion.

Ha said the exemption would have no negative effects on the legal system and was not contrary to international treaties of which Viet Nam is a member. “If this policy is approved and promulgated, the calculation, appraisal and approval will still comply with the provisions of Government Decree 82/2017/ND-CP [outlining calculation methods and charges for water exploitation rights].”

“This is a beneficial policy for organisations, businesses and individuals so they will comply and actively implement it. In addition, this policy only waives the charge for water exploitation rights from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, so it will not affect the legal system in case of any amendment in the future,” he added.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Finance, after nearly three years of implementing Decree 82, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and localities had approved about 4,000 decisions to grant the right to exploit water resources, contributing VND10.6 trillion to the State budget. – VNS

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