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November 12, 2019

Transparency key to prevent grievances in resolving land confiscation issues

  • The manner in which the land confiscation issue is resolved would reflect on the image of the country. Land management must be carried out properly, in accordance with the rules, regulations, and procedures laid down by law as this has a direct bearing on improving the socio-economic condition of the people.
    Small farmers rely on agriculture and livestock breeding for a livelihood.
    Therefore, all levels of committees for scrutinizing confiscated farmlands and other lands need to effectively handle complaints on land matters according to the policies and work processes.
    Some states and regions did not follow the central committee’s policy and work processes, and inadequate records were submitted, resulting in the central committee returning the files back for re-assessment.
    To speed up the resolution of land issues, members of the region and state committees must go to the grassroots level and closely supervise cases. Meanwhile, members of the central committee need to check if the cases from regions and states are handled in accordance with the 52-point list of procedures, which has been implemented to resolve complicated land confiscation issues, based on paper documentation, evidence, and legal matters.
    The most important thing is to sit down and hold discussions with those who have sent complaints to the committee with the utmost degree of transparency and accountability.
    Secondly, compensations given to the rightful owners should not lead to controversy. Only then can we prevent unnecessary problems at the ground level.
    According to statistics released in February, the Central Committee received 7,119 complaints, of which only 3,168 were resolved. More emphasis must be placed on resolving the remaining 3,951 complaints.
    Excess and unused lands returned as state-owned lands need to be used for the benefit of the people, and if unutilized, they need to be kept on record and maintained. Some lands released by the ministerial departments have not been received by their former owners due to some delays or lack of clarity on who the former owners are.
    Generally, resolving complicated issues correctly demands time and space to a certain extent.
    At the same time, we need to use compassion, fairness, and avoid malpractice to ensure that those involved in the cases are satisfied with their resolution.
    To root out similar issues in the country, we need to enact the National Land Use Law, which can guarantee sustainable land management, uphold land rights, provide protection to rights of ethnic groups, settle land disputes, and encourage responsible investment.

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