HCM City collects 712.5 million USD in land-use change fees hinh anh 1HCM City collected 16.49 trillion VND (over 712.5 million USD) in fees for changing land-use purposes last year (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA)Ho Chi Minh City collected fees of more than 16.49 trillion VND (over 712.5 million USD) last year for changing land-use purposes, according to the city’s Registration Office for Land Use Rights.

The office’s director Du Huy Quang said the city also collected over 5.38 trillion VND from leasing lands and nearly 6.34 trillion VND from land -use fees.

People cannot theoretically own land and have to pay fees for “using” land for various purposes like housing, farming and others.

A total of 679,124 applications were processed last year, 5.15 percent more than the previous year, he said.

Suburban districts such as district 9, Hoc Mon, Cu Chi, Binh Chanh, and Thu Duc reported the largest numbers of house and land purchase transactions. Cu Chi topped with 60,000.

According to the office, some of its district offices have been facing difficulties like lack of facilities and storage space and outdated equipment, making it difficult to keep and preserve files and documents.

With rapid urbanisation, they also face major challenges with legal issues related to land and housing and the increasing number of applications, it said.

Nguyen Toan Thang, Director of the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the office and its branches should enhance administrative reform and coordinate with relevant agencies such as the tax department to quickly process applications from individuals and businesses.

He said they should not delay issue of land- and house-use rights certificates to residents while also ensuring compliance with the law and there is no trouble for the public.

They should ensure they have capable staff who can meet the evolving needs, he added.-VNA