03 April 20 Viet Nam Agency Source Hanoi (VNA) - Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha has proposed exempting charges on businesses for granting rights to exploit water resources for half a year, estimated at 600 billion VND (over 25 million USD), or for a year.

The move aims to spur socio-economic development and assist businesses in the wake of the raging COVID-19 pandemic and the severe drought in the central and central highlands region and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta.

In a proposal sent to the Prime Minister, Ha also recommended extensions on charges for granting mining rights this year and reductions on environmental fees for service providers impacted by the pandemic.

He also called for a 20 percent cut in charges for assessing the granting of permits to explore, exploit, and use water resources, and exemptions from land use taxes for businesses.

Other proposals included the export of certain minerals such as those exploited from socio-economic projects (white sand), at small-scale mines, and in disadvantaged areas where transportation to concentrated processing facilities remains troublesome.

Ha appealed to the PM to spend part of the environmental fund purchasing protection equipment for health workers and forces working at COVID-19 quarantine centers and improving the capacity for handling hazardous medical waste./VNA