Proposals Made By Land Commission On High-profile Amendments To Land Code To Be Included In Separate Bill – Nazarbayev
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has spoken about the work done by the commission on land reform to make improvements to the amendments to the Land Code, which drew a broad response in society.
“The commission did a lot of work by discussing problems that concern society and found many flaws that had not been taken into account,” the president said at the opening of the parliamentary session in Astana on Thursday.
“Several proposals have been developed, which will be reflected in a separate bill, which the government will submit to the parliament. Specifically, it is related to issues concerning the improvement of the procedure for providing farmland and intensifying control over its rational use,” he said.
“In actuality, we did not take into account the fact that one should not give hundreds of hectares to one person at once, it doesn’t happen anywhere in the world. And we allowed everyone everything in the first days of our work on this track. Land is given to people who have agricultural experience, who can work as farmers, who have education and experience. We now have a situation where some people have grabbed something, and we are now returning land to the state through prosecutors and courts because the land grew over with wild grass in all these years and it is now causing losses even to neighbors,” he said.
The president said that “the government had good intentions to draw funding to the agro-industrial sector” when a decision was made to make amendments to the land legislation.
In late 2015, Kazakhstan adopted amendments to the Land Code, which, among other things, envisaged the sale of farmland to private owners. In accordance with the amendments, land cannot be sold to foreigners and repatriated Kazakhs, but can only be leased out to them for 25 years.
In spring 2016, a campaign was launched in Kazakhstan on social networking sites against the sale of farmland to private owners over fears that land can become property of foreigners. People who disagreed with the changes to the Land Codes held unauthorized rallies in some cities.
In early May, the president of Kazakhstan declared a moratorium until 2017 on some provisions of the Land Code, which had drawn broad public response, and then approved a law suspending some provisions of the Land Code, in accordance with which farmland sites will not be leased out to foreigners, stateless persons, foreign legal entities, or legal entities with foreign capital until the end of 2016.
A commission on land reform was created in Kazakhstan on the orders of the president. A decision was made to prolong the moratorium on the amendments to the Land Code by five years in a meeting with the president on the results of its work on August 18.