An inter-ministerial circular specifying procedural steps for carrying out investment projects has been recently drafted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Construction with a view to simplifying administrative procedures and improving the investment climate.
According to the draft, investors that wish to implement construction investment projects, projects using land or projects involving environmental issues must follow five steps, including in-principle approval of the investment project, announcement of land rent, grant of investment certificate, approval of construction plan and environmental impact assessment report, and grant of construction license.
“This is only a circular, so it does not change legal regulations. However, it guides provincial authorities and investors how to complete administrative procedures in a transparent way,” said Phan Duc Hieu, deputy head of the Business Environment Department of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Central Institute for Economic Management.
The draft sets out a silence-means-consent principle. Accordingly, management agencies that are consulted on matters related to investment projects but fail to give their opinions within a law-established time limit would be considered as having agreed with investors’ proposals. It seems to be a simple principle but would make a big step towards improving state agencies’ behavior and sense of accountability.
The draft also specifies some administrative procedures which may be carried out simultaneously or by investors’ choice. Undoubtedly, if approved, this provision would put an end to the chicken-and-egg situation which has long existed in many sectors.
According to survey recently conducted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, it took an investor between 155 and 340 days to complete some 18 administrative procedures for an investment project located in an industrial park. For projects outside industrial parks, it took even longer.-