Nov 13, 2012

Vietnam - Move to close door on city migrants

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Controversy is surrounding a plan to restrict locals looking to relocate to Hanoi.

The Vietnamese government last week tabled the draft Law on Capital to the National Assembly for discussion, with one of the draft law’s most notable points being that each immigrant wanting permanent residency in the capital must have at least five square metres of housing there.
Also, the draft law stipulates that the immigrant must have a stable residential place in Hanoi for at least three continuous three years. The Law on Capital, to oust the existing Ordinance on Capital, is expected to take effect on July 1, 2013.

However, this regulation goes against Clause 20 of the existing Law on Residency stipulating that if an individual has a legal residential place in a city and continuously lives there within at least one year, he/she could apply for permanent residency in a city, said southern Binh Duong province National Assembly delegate Pham Trong Nhan.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in its report said if measures on tightening immigration into Hanoi were applied, the city-based enterprises would find it difficult to recruit workers.

For instance, Hanoi Employment Promotion Centre reported that enterprises had since 2009 asked it to help them seek 70,000 labourers, but only 1,700 had been found.

“Enterprises will have to spend more on recruiting labourers and expanding their business. As a result, product prices will be increased, and enterprises’ competitiveness will be reduced,” the report said.

However, the MoJ said Hanoi was under massive urbanisation pressures and since the Law on Residency took effect in July 2007, about 50,000 people had newly registered to live permanently in the city annually, a three-fold jump from pre-2007. Meanwhile, the city’s infrastructure and services like health care, education and traffic were unable to meet the population boom.

But, many National Assembly delegates agreed with this regulation.

“The rapid population increase will make it difficult for authorities in developing infrastructure works like water, power, hospitals and schools, and resolving arising problems like environmental pollution and people’s decreasing quality of life,” said delegate Nguyen Duc Chung representing Hanoi.

Delegate Le Nam representing central Thanh Hoa province said: “I highly agree with limiting immigration into Hanoi. If we have no measure to limit this, we will not be able to develop the capital.”

However, Nhan said the regulation would not be able to help Hanoi in the long run.

“Why do people from other localities still flow into the capital, though their living conditions are not good? It is because they find Hanoi a better place to live. So the problem here is that the capital’s planning is problematic,” Nhan said.

Thanh Thu |

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