Former deputy PM gets official warning for privatization violations

By Hoang Thuy   July 19, 2019 | 01:23 am PT
Former deputy PM gets official warning for privatization violations
Vietnam's former Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thang.
Vietnam's Communist Party issued an official warning against former Deputy PM Vu Van Ninh on Friday for violations causing losses to the state budget.

The Politburo, the party's decision-making body, said at a meeting chaired by Party Chief and President Nguyen Phu Trong that Vu Van Ninh, 64, who served as deputy Prime Minister between 2011 and 2016, signed many documents approving the privatization of and state capital divestment from some state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under the Ministry of Transport's management.

These documents went against regulations set by the Politburo and government for restructuring state enterprises through privatizing and divestment.

His violations involved wrongful divestment at Nha Trang Port JSC in the central province of Khanh Hoa and privatization at Vietnam Airports Corporation.

Ninh had shown irresponsibility in leading, managing, inspecting and supervising, resulting in huge losses of state assets during the period he held positions as Secretary of the Ministry of Finance's Party Commission, Minister of Finance and the Vietnam Social Security's board chairman between June 2006 and 2011.

His mismanagement has left two general directors of Vietnam Social Security to commit violations in lending VND1.01 trillion ($43 million) to state-owned finance leasing firm, the Agribank Financial Leasing Company No 2 (ALC II), in 2008 and 2009. It was only allowed to lend money to state-run commercial banks.

When ALC II was declared bankrupt in December 2016, it still owed the insurance agency nearly VND770 billion ($33.25 million), besides interest.

Ninh's violations were serious, causing huge losses in state budget and badly affecting the reputation of the Communist Party, the Politburo said.

At a meeting on July 8, party inspectors had urged disciplinary action against Ninh, after revealing his violations last April.

The Communist Party of Vietnam has four modes of punishment against members: reprimand, warning, demotion and expulsion.

A sweeping corruption crackdown spearheaded by Trong has snared scores of high-profile officials over the last three years, especially in the energy and banking sectors. Last year, a large number of officials and businesspeople were prosecuted for corruption.

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