Regulations on freshwater provisioning services needed

National Assembly deputies, representatives of state management agencies, experts, and representatives from businesses and associations in the field of clean water supply services all said that Vietnam needs regulations on freshwater provisioning services to make the sector grow.


Regulations on freshwater provisioning services needed ảnh 1 Illustrative photo
They made the statement at today’s seminar ‘Clean water supply services in Vietnam: Market and policy issues’
Experts said that Vietnam is in danger of failing to achieve the goal of 95-100 percent of urban people and 93 percent -95 percent of rural people access clean water by 2025”. In particular, the percentage of rural people who have access to tap water is very limited, reaching only approximately 35 percent of households in 2019.
Because of unclear regulation of freshwater, the market for providing domestic services is difficult to develop; therefore, individuals and groups have been taking advantage of unfair competition policies to earn profit.
Opinions at the workshop stated that whether the State, the private sector, or civil society institutions are responsible for providing public service, the State must assume the responsibility for ensuring service provision. The freshwater provisioning market must ensure three principles including continuity, equal access for all, and fair pricing.
Dr. Nguyen Si Dung, former Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Office said that if clean water is not available, it is necessary to ensure that people have affordable water.
According to Mr. Nguyen Quang Dong, director of the Institute for Policy Research and Communication Development (IPS), during the process of calling for social contribution to provide clean water public services, the government has forgotten to build a reasonable market structure; thereby, private enterprises face high risks when participating the market in terms of price, in terms of volume of water purchased under capacity.
Dr. Nguyen Dinh Cung, former director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), also proposed a separate law for the water market including water supply and domestic water treatment. Because according to him, the electricity industry has its electricity law, and there needs to be a document at the legal level to create a unified and transparent framework for the clean water market.
State-owned enterprises also face difficulties when water prices are low and can’t afford to expand water supply areas. The non-transparent condition makes it difficult for the market to develop, creating the risk of unfair competition benefiting groups taking advantage of loopholes.
Mr. Dong recommended having a comprehensive assessment associated with the development of the law on water supply and water treatment that the Government has requested and the Ministry of Construction is implementing".
With the same opinion, National Assembly delegate Nguyen Quang Huan, a member of the National Assembly's Committee on Science, Technology and Environment, said that calling for the participation of private companies is necessary to expand freshwater supply, ensuring the right to access water for people.
However, if private companies participate in freshwater provisioning services, the frameworks and regulations for the market need to be further improved. the Government should soon submit Mr. Nguyen Dinh Cung’s suggestion to the National Assembly for consideration.

Other news