MONRE hands down $2.6m in fines for environmental, land use violations

The natural resources and environmental ministry (MONRE) punished 520 companies for violating environmental laws with total fines reaching nearly VND60 billion (US$2.6 million) in 2015.

Last year, MONRE received about 3,400 complaints and allegations involving violations in natural resources and environmental laws, of which 3,200 related to land use violations.

The figure was revealed at the review meeting on January 7  by Le Quoc Trung, chief inspector of MONRE.

The ministry performed 94 inspections and investigations with the number of organisations and individuals inspected up to 1400, a 45% increase compared to the previous year.

The most serious violation category is environmental contamination with 602 organisations and individuals fined more than VND35.4 billion (US$1.57 million).

Companies violating land and natural resources laws had to pay fines of VND15.3 billion (US$680,000) and VND14 billion (US$623,000) respectively.

As many as 8,525 ha of land, along with 89 certificates of land use rights have been revoked.

About 22 companies have been banned from operating natural resource exploitation.

20 others were fined for violating water resource laws such as using underground water without licences and illegal discharging of waste water.

Another 22 organisations paid fines of VND300 million (US$13,300) for not abiding by provisions of geodesy and cartography.

Inspections have showed that provincial agencies have not tightened the management and inspection of local projects and private sector's operations.