The Government will be responsible for approving golf projects instead of provincial authorities.
The change is stated in the Decree 52/2020/ND-CP on investment in construction and commercial operation of golf courses, which comes into effect on June 15, 2020.
It will enable businesses to explore available land areas and build courses once they meet the Government’s regulations.
In the past, golf businesses had to wait for provincial authorities’ planning policies.
In some cases, capable investors were unable to develop their own courses because the targeted areas were not parts of the province’s development plans while some could not finalise their project registration in time. The development plans set for specific areas limited the scale of registered courses.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the change would assure golf course developers are fair to each other, improve the management of golf projects, and prevent illegal use of land.
There are several types of land which must not be used for building golf courses such as land used for national defence and security and natural forests. Rice-farming land is also unavailable for golf course construction, except areas with poor productivity and economic efficiency, and those meeting conditions for change of land use purposes; and areas of historical and cultural relics and tourism.
The area of the golf course projects depends on the scale, such as the standard golf course project with 18 holes not exceeding 90 hectares and the first golf course project area not exceeding 270 hectares, equivalent to 54 holes.
The investor must complete the construction within 36 months for 18-hole golf courses or within 48 months for other golf courses since the date that the land lease contract is signed, the Đầu Tư (Investment) newspaper reported.
In addition, the decree also stipulates that investors must meet conditions on financial ability, land for building the project and deposit on the project in accordance with the law on investment.
The investors must have commitments on resettlement, training and jobs for the people who are using the land that is expected to develop the golf course project and local labour.
At the same time, they must implement requirements on infrastructure of transport, electricity and tapped water; waste water treatment and environmental protection during development of the golf course project.
The investors are prohibited to abuse golf course business to organise illegal gambling activities.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment has proposed the development of golf course projects according to business conditions after the development of golf course projects under the planning has not reached efficiency as expected.
According to the Decision 1946/QD-TTg dated November 26, 2009 of the Prime Minister on Vietnam’s development planning on golf course, the country has 89 golf courses in 2020.
However, after 10 years of implementation, the State management agencies have realised that the management of golf course projects under the planning has had many inadequacies.
The ministry reported that up to now, there are only nearly 30 golf course projects put into operation. Investors of the remaining number of golf course projects have not had enough conditions to put investment in developing those projects.
Meanwhile, many investors have enough financial potential to develop golf course projects but they could not do because their projects are not put in the State development planning.
In addition, the current management of golf course investment and commercial operation is not following market rules./