MORE than 6,400 acres of confiscated land in Ayeyawady Region were returned to its rightful owners yesterday with Vice President U Henry Van Thio’s calling on authorities in regions and states to speed up works in order to release remaining lands.
Speaking on the occasion in Pantanaw, Ayeyawady Region, yesterday, Vice President U Henry Van Thio, in his capacity as the chairman of the Central Review Committee on Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands, said the government is making systematic efforts to ensure transparency in order to hand over confiscated lands back to farmers.
However, in some land confiscation issues, farmers should wait a certain time as the work needs to be carried out in conformity with the existing rules and regulations of the land law, he added.
The vice president also called on the sub-committees under the central body to take bold steps to solve the land issues within the legal framework.
During the ceremony, Ayeyawady Region Chief Minister U Mahn Jonny said land rights permits would be granted to the farmers in accordance with the 2012 Farmland Law.
During the ceremony, 252 farmers in Pantanaw township got back 3,166 acres and 72 farmers in Pyapon township received 3,268 acres which have been released by the Ministry of Industry.
Meanwhile, plans are underway to return more than 1,100 acres of land in Mandalay to farmers.
More than one month after taking office the new government expressed its commitment to the speedy resolution of farmland confiscation issues and for the quick handover of abandoned farmlands to their lawful owners.
At the first meeting of the central committee in May, the vice president urged officials to set up task forces to deal with the return of seized land and with the economic impact land grabbing has had on farmers.
According to the vice president, private companies and government departments were granted permission to confiscate land, including farmland, under the pretext of urbanisation and industrialisation.
Land disputes resulted from lack of cooperation among land management bodies as well as from arguments between the government, landowners and investors over ownership and planning permissions.
The committees are staffed with ministerial officials, local parliamentarians, town elders and farmers.