PM: Amendment makes land easier to develop
24 July, 2021, 1:15 pm
The amendment to the iTaukei Land Trust Act is administrative in nature and does away with needless bureaucracy that too often holds up development on leased iTaukei land, like connecting water and electricity.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the amendment to the Bill makes land easier to develop and more attractive to lease – putting more money in the pockets of landowners.
He said under the Fijian Constitution, iTaukei land would always remain iTaukei land and they have many other protections and benefits under the same Constitution.
He said landowners would continue to receive market and equal returns from their leased land.
“This amendment helps make that land more attractive for the benefit of landowning communities – increasing the premiums and lease payments they can get,” he said.
“We support landowners to be empowered, not afraid.
Don’t let fear-mongering politicians tell you otherwise.
“We are tired of all these politicians like Lynda and Gavoka and all these bush lawyers, in short these people really don’t care about the ordinary iTaukei people.”
He said these were a bunch of “urban elite” who were nothing but stirrers.
“They think that by control they are able to cert their indigenous which ends up in practical sense meaning that only a few control the show and they become the gatekeepers of what is right and what is wrong.”
Meanwhile, while delivering the 2021-2022 National Budget last Friday, Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Government was amending the Act to ensure that written consent was no longer required for a mortgage, charge, pledge or caveat for any State or iTaukei lease to be dealt with by any court of law or under provisions of any court of law.