Saturday, May 26, 2012

Land Use Bank Deposits Means 99 Years Loss of Land

Fiji Times News

 "A 99-year lease will take at least three generation so it is therefore important to consider all angles before giving our lands for leasing" (by the Land Use Bank)

Ratu Meli Warns Landowners of Land Use Bank

THE Ra Provincial Council has advised landowners to consider the welfare of their future generations before deciding what to do with their unused lands.

Council chairman Ratu Meli Bolobolo made these comments while responding to a call by the government urging landowners to submit their land to the newly-established Land Use Bank.

He said careful consideration was needed as once given up, it would take 99 years before the land is returned to the original landowner.

The Ba Provincial Council has supported this call, saying the release of land to the government would bring about infrastructural developments to the region. Ratu Meli said careful consideration must be made by landowners before deciding to give their land away.
"The welfare of our future generations should not be forgotten and this must be taken into consideration before we should decide to give our lands out for leasing. Every provincial council has different views based on the state of development they want. Ba is a well developed province compared to Ra and they know what is best for them in terms of income sources.

"Every decision made has its advantages and disadvantages and landowners should be wise before making final decisions. "A 99-year lease will take at least three generation so it is therefore important to consider all angles before giving our lands for leasing. "The land bank's initiative is good because it will bring out development and good returns on unused lands," he said.

He said the onus was on the landowners to decide what was best for them. "Landowners have their own separate views on what is best for them and the decision to deposit their lands into the government land bank solely depends on them."

Ratu Meli said the council's stand on the land bank would depend entirely on the landowners because the land belonged to them.

This week, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum urged landowners in Ra and Tavua to deposit their unused lands to the government land bank. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the government would ensure landowners received fair benefits under the new land bank. "There are many landowners who have come forward to deposit their lands in the government land bank to help people lease these lands with good market rates and getting leases for longer periods. "Under the land bank, the farmers and the landowners feel secure and everybody benefits," he said.

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