Many lawmakers have expressed their doubt about the report stating that there was no official in Ho Chi Minh City committing corruption in the first nine months of this year.
The report was officially announced by the inspection body of the city at the ongoing meeting of the law-making People’s Council of the 8th term of Ho Chi Minh City.
Deputy Tran Van Thien raised some questions about corruption, “Why hasn’t the topic of the fight against corruption been placed for discussion during the last term of the People’s Council?
“Why was the hot topic ignored?
“What is the real status of corruption in Ho Chi Minh City now?
“I want to know if there is no corruption in this city or where it is occurring.”
At the request of Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, chairwoman of the People’s Council, who presided over the meeting on Wednesday, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Nga, vice head of the inspection body of the city, replied that, “No case of corruption was found during the first nine months of this year.”
However, the information is contradictory to her report reviewing the work of preventing and fighting corruption.
The report writes, “Corruption has occurred, especially in the fields of construction, equitization of state-owned companies, tender bidding, and in the purchase of public equipment.”
“Some state officials take advantage of loopholes in policies and management to take bribes, violate regulations, and harass businesses.”
Tran Trong Tuan, director of the city’s construction department, admitted at the meeting that some officials pressurize businesses and ordinary people to extort money from them.
Deputy Nguyen Van Tung said bluntly that the report of the inspection unit is inconsistent with what has been covered by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper this year.
The paper has brought to light at least three instances of corruption, including a demand of US$15,000 from a state official to grant an investment license to an enterprise, the case of asking for $5,000 in return for a construction permit, and two firefighting policemen requesting tips of VND3 million ($133) from a firm.
Chairwoman Tam concluded that citizens have been bothered and harassed, and felt stressed despite public agencies’ efforts to ameliorate the situation in recent times.