NEWS

Land Bill Talk Next Week

While the amendments only look to change clauses where consent is required for the iTaukei Lands Trust Board and State Land de­velopment, many politicians have taken to social media saying own­ership will be taken away, which as explained during the budget is not the case.
23 Jul 2021 12:57
Land Bill Talk Next Week

Prime Minister and Minister for iTaukei Affairs Voreqe Bainimarama says Parliament will have a chance to debate on the proposed amendments to land laws.

These are proposed changes in the iTaukei Lands Act of 1940 and the States Land Act of 1945, which keyboard warriors and the anti-Government mob have claimed is an act of taking away rights of iTaukei landowners.

Parliament will sit next week where the 2021-2022 National Budget will also be debated.

While the amendments only look to change clauses where consent is required for the iTaukei Lands Trust Board and State Land de­velopment, many politicians have taken to social media saying own­ership will be taken away, which as explained during the budget is not the case.

Mr Bainimarama also dismissed rumours that Government was trying to take ownership of Native Land in the country.

Responding to queries from media that the announcement to make the changes had stirred up emotions within the community, Mr Baini­marama said the changes were done to clear backlogs and ensure development takes place.

He said the whole matter would be discussed and explained before Parliament next week.

He said some people were using the issue to gain political mileage.

When it was mentioned to him that Opposition MP and Whip Lynda Tabuya had started to rally people to say ‘No’ to the amend-ment, Mr Bainamara said: “Lynda Tabuya only knows ‘TikTok’ and she should stick to ‘Tik Tok’.”

Minister for Land’s Jone Usamate said he would be raising clarifications on the proposed amendment in Parliament.

When asked yesterday about the backlash the proposed amendment has received on social media, he said: “That is one of the issues I will be addressing in Parliament when it next sits.”

Mr Usamate said he was aware of the backlash and hopes to clarify a number of issues when it is debated in the August house.

 

Reason For The Amendments

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khai-yum said there was a huge backlog of applications because of delays at the Lands Department and at TLTB.

He said the amendment would see that  written consent was no longer required for any mortgage, charge, pledge or for caveat or for any State or iTaukei lease to be dealt with by any court of law or under the process of any court of law.

Lessees and tenants will no longer need to apply for writ-ten consent from the Lands Department and TLTB for water and electricity connections.

He said these amendments would ensure faster service delivery to lessees and third parties who would no longer need to obtain the consent of the Lands Department or TLTB for certain applications and they could directly register instruments with the Registrar of Titles or lodge proceedings in court.

Consent is still required for dealings such as sale, trans-fer, subleasing, assignment, subletting, building, rezoning and so forth.

However, with these amend-ments, consent can only be refused where there is a breach of any lease condition or the application is not in accordance with law.

Feedbackjyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 



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