Gov’t to ask NA to waive charges for water exploitation rights hinh anh 1The Son La Hydropower Dam in the northern province of Son La. (Photo:

Hanoi (VNS/VNA)  –
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 1.4 trillion VND (60.2 million USD), 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 percent, 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 150,000 VND to 116.3 billion VND, 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 1.4 trillion VND to be cut, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue will be subject to the lowest waiver of 42 million VND, while the northern mountainous province of Son La will see the highest cut of 150 billion VND.

Ha said the exemption would have no negative effects on the legal system and was not contrary to international treaties of which Vietnam 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/NĐ-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 10.6 trillion VND to the State budget./.