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How to break vicious circle of land issues

24 February 2019
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Land issues remain the most pressing for entrepreneurs, Ombudsman for the Protection of the rights of Entrepreneurs of RK Bolat Palymbetov said.

Entrepreneurs acquire land, but it is not always possible to immediately implement their plans. For example, one of the most common issues is that the land plots have no detailed planning projects and engineering networks.

While the businessman is busy trying to resolve the situation and waiting for answers to his inquiries, the terms of using the land plot expire.

As a result, a businessman finds himself in the so-called vicious circle, when the akimat provides a land plot that cannot be mastered within the scheduled time, as a result the authorities withdraws the land plot due to failure of land development.

Land Code establishes specific cases for agricultural land when the land is recognized as unused, while land for construction has no clear definitions in this matter.

In addition, the existing Land Code does not interpret the concept of “development”. It is also absent in the legislation on architectural, urban planning and construction activities. This fact leads to many difficulties.

In addition, the procedure for forced seizure of land does not provide for cases when the land for construction could not be developed due to circumstances beyond the control of the entrepreneur, the owner.

Therefore in order to break the vicious circle and timely develop land plot it is necessary to define the definition "development" in Article 92 of Land Code.  The legislation should stipulate additional criteria for definition "development".

I would like to remind you of the recent significant changes in the existing Land Code.

In 2018 President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev signed amendments to the Land Law, which clearly states that local executive bodies are obliged to publish all information in open access (akimats’ websites, Internet resources, media) about distribution of land plots and lists of people who received land plots and their designation as well.

On January 21, 2019 President of Kazakhstan signed the Law on enhancing protection of property rights, arbitration, streamlining the judicial load and further humanizing criminal law.

According to this law, land plots for public purposes will be withdrawn at market value. In addition, the costs associated with the provision of an equivalent land instead of the seized one are borne by akimats. The law came into force on February 2 of this year.

I am sure that these changes will reduce the complaints of entrepreneurs and the level of corruption in land relations.

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