Planning Ministry: no environment trade-off for industrial projects

By Le Chi   April 29, 2016 | 11:41 pm PT
The story about tons of dead fish washing up the beaches along the central provinces of Vietnam has caught people’s attention again during a press conference following the Prime Minister's meeting with the business community on April 29.

At the event, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment (MPI) Dang Huy Dong said that he shared the public’s concern of the risk of sea pollution, which is believed to have caused the mass fish deaths in the country.

Although most fingers are being pointed at a Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa in Ha Tinh, Dong reiterated that there hasn’t been any official evidence to link the company with the recent extraordinary fish kill.

The MPI’s representative said there always is a strict evaluation process of environmental impact for in-registration projects. “There never is an agenda to trade the environment for any project,” Dong said.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung said the dead fish problem has been particularly impactful to the people's lives, especially in the central region. Dung said the mass fish deaths is an extremely complex issue, which has occured for the first time on such a large scale in Vietnam. 

On April 29, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered relevant ministries, agencies and sent a deputy prime minister and other officials to look into the phenomenon. He also ordered the police to investigate for any violations of the law.

Dung said the state will evaluate the damage that the locals have suffered to provide timely support. "The PM requested to not leave people hungry while prohibiting the purchase of the dead fish and seafood for profit. He also urged people not to consume the dead seafood,” Dung said.

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