Inspection, punishment and pardon – vicious cycle of anti-corruption campaign!

Nguyen Phu Trong assigns Tran Cam Tu to form the list of violators

Involved in Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) are Tran Tuan Anh – Politburo member and head of the Central Economic Commission, Trinh Dinh Dung – former Deputy Prime Minister, and Mai Tien Dung – former Minister and Head of the Government Office, were all disciplined. At the lower level, there is Duong Quang Thanh – former Chairman of EVN. There are also many other related state officials.

Recently, EVN was cited by the Government Inspectorate for a series of violations, including that the electricity purchase price far exceeded the ceiling price of the determined price frame. The Government Inspectorate pointed out that the purchase price at many hydropower plants, such as Dong Nai 2, Song Bung 4A hydropower plant… far exceeds the above framework. The Government Inspectorate proposed that the Prime Minister assign the Ministry of Public Security to receive records and documents to serve the review, investigation and handling according to legal regulations, with 9 cases related to electricity.

Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong has requested Tran Cam Tu to form a list of important officials, from the Government to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, then EVN, to put on the chopping block, then the Government Inspectorate stepped in to find out EVN’s violations. If the Government Inspectorate does not obey, sometimes Nguyen Phu Trong will let Mr. Tran Cam Tu touch the Government Inspectorate’s neck, then the case will widen further.

On December 27, Mr. Ton Xo – Spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security – said that the Police Investigation Agency (C03, Ministry of Public Security) arrested Mr. Nguyen Thanh Ngon – Director of EVN Binh Thuan – and 16 other officials.

Nguyen Thanh Ngon and his predecessor, Tran Ngoc Linh, were accused of “receiving bribes“; Bidding violations and accounting violations in business management. These officials were accused of violating bidding regulations and causing serious consequences.

So, on the upper floor of EVN, Nguyen Phu Trong had the Central Inspection Commission make a list, while at the lower leval, he had To Lam arrest people.

Normally, when Mr. Trong wants to impose a sentence, he asks To Lam to arrest lower-ranking officials first and then higher-rank ones. Starting from EVN Binh Thuan, it is unclear when leaders of EVN put in handcuffs? That day, people were waiting. They wait to see where Nguyen Phu Trong will open it? Will he open it until the final boss, or will he open it halfway and then stop like many other cases.

It is unclear if Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong will arrest Tran Tuan Anh or not. And if Tran Tuan Anh is arrested, that will not solve the problem totally.

Why is that?

The cause of EVN’s systematic violations is the state’s monopoly. The electricity industry is being bottlenecked by EVN, meaning that electricity from producers is forced to sell to EVN, otherwise it cannot be sold to anyone else. As for electricity customers, they can only buy from EVN and cannot buy from anyone else.

Thus, electricity from producers to consumers is bottlenecked by EVN in the middle. Producers cannot sell electricity, consumers lack electricity.

Without this monopoly, manufacturers have many options. The electricity produced is not sold to one person but sold to another, thus limiting risks. Thus, only large electricity producers will invest. This is the main reason why Orsted, the world’s largest wind power group, fled Vietnam. It is the monopoly on electricity trading that has driven away green electricity producers, and the damage to the economy is immeasurable.

Suppose Mr. Trong were to dig out all the fish related to EVN in the Government, then there would also appear another Tran Tuan Anh, another Duong Quang Thanh, another Mai Tien Dung and another Trinh Dinh Dung, etc. Because it’s violations are born from the mechanism, and if the mechanism does not change, violations will continue. (Translated)