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Land Reverted To Owners: PM

Land Reverted To Owners: PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with some Lautoka residents on February 15, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO News
February 16
10:51 2018

The Government is in the process of returning to the iTaukei landowners land it holds in trust under State Land Schedule A & B.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama made this disclosure yesterday at his consultation meeting in Lautoka.

He said: “We are making good on our promises; more iTaukei lands are steadily being reverted back to iTaukei land-owning units, more land is being freed up for farming and development, and in effect, more money is in the pockets of tens of thousands of Fijian farmers and landowners.”

He said he was pleased to note the iTaukei Land Trust Board’s recent progress in facilitating the return of Schedules A & B lands to the iTaukei landowners who needed them.

The TLTB says the State holds these two types of land in trust for the indigenous landowners.

Schedule A is land that once belonged to a land-owning unit that has become extinct.

Schedule B is land that was not claimed during the initial sittings of the then Native Land Commission in the early part of the 1900s.

Under Section 18 of the iTaukei Land Trust Act, the Reserves Commissioner is empowered to allocate these types of state-owned land to iTaukei landowners who genuinely need more land.

The TLTB says the recognition by the Government and legislation to the reversionary rights of the indigenous landowner to these types of state land is evidence of Government’s trusteeship role in holding such land.

Mr Bainimarama said: “After proper due diligence, this initiative has now been fast-tracked and is nearing completion. TLTB has already allotted a full 95 per cent of Schedule A lands, and 87 per cent of Schedule B lands, to their landowning units.

“My Government is dedicated to not only preserving and protecting native iTaukei land, as we have enshrined in our Constitution, but also to promoting new ways for it to become a stream of income for you, your children, and your grandchildren to rightfully enjoy,” he said.

“Government continues to support the CBUL (Committee for Better Utilisation of Land) initiative, which was set up specifically in 2010 to assist farmers in the renewal of their agricultural leases while, at the same time, providing incentives to landowners to give their unutilised land for leasing. CBUL has turned out to be a clear win-win relationship for not only our farmers and landowners, but also the Fijian economy.

Edited by Percy Kean

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