Harassment by officials of businesses continues to be a matter of concern to firms.
Dinh La Thang
The demands have become too absurd and terrified enterprises. Their fear was clearly shown during the meeting between 200 FDI companies and leaders of HCM City on March 16.
Vice director of VWS Company Huynh Thi Lan Phuong said investing in HCM City felt like engaging in battle from waking up. Even though she was encouraged by secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Dinh La Thang to speak her mind, Phuong was still frightened and said, "Will I be able to return to the US after that?"
Cumbersome bureaucracy is not just a problem in HCM City, it's a concern across the country. But no matter how belaboured the demands are, they are probably not as scary as deceit. Unreasonable demands cost time and effort while lies can lead to bad economic consequences.
Various newspapers and news channels such as Tien Phong, VTV1 and Petro Times have reported how Haiphong Metallic Investment and Development Company was driven to the brink of bankruptcy. When the authorities in Haiphong called for investment to build Thuong Ly Bus Station, they promised to transfer the buses from Tam Bac Station to the new one.
However, after the VND50bn bus station was done, the Department of Transport shut down Tam Bac Station and allowed bus operators to choose which stations they liked. No operators wanted to work out of Thuong Ly Bus Station despite its modern equipment because it is located too far from the city centre.
Haiphong Department of Transport should know how to regulate the use of the bus stations based on the city’s urban planning, congestion and traffic safety. But when answering the media, the department's head said the firms had the right to choose. That all sounds reasonable until to became clear that they forgot about their promise to Haiphong Metallic Investment and Development Company.
The firms have rights to choose, but more importantly they also have rights to work in a safe and well-planned city.
It's encouraging when we hear the new party chief in Ho Chi Minh City say, "Awareness about the role of businesses must be changed. They pay taxes so civil servants are obliged to serve them."
It's nonsensical that firms who, despite paying their taxes, have bow their heads to civil servants and suffer bureaucratic torture.
We shouldn’t be in a situation where firms complain about corruption and are so terrified that they don't think they can go home or they live in constant fear that they have been lied to by the authorities. Businesses and the economy can only grow and reach an international level when the local authorities and their staff take on board what the Ho Chi Minh City party leader stated.