New land privatization bill drafted
A new bill has been drafted on Land Privatization for Mongolian Citizens. Journalists interviewed the Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ts. Oyungerel, regarding the draft bill.
-I heard that a new bill has been drafted on land privatization. How does it differ from the current Law on Land Privatization?
-The bill is very different from the current law. With the aim of explaining the differences and providing the concise information, we introduced the draft bill to the Mongolian Democratic Party first. We will soon introduce it to the Land Commission, which is led by the Prime Minister.
The sole purpose of the draft bill is to make sure that each and every citizen of Mongolia privatizes their land. It has already been ten years since the current Law on Land Privatization came into force. Yet, only seven percent of all Mongolian citizens have privatized their land, which means that the remaining 93% haven’t enjoyed their lawful right until now. According to the current law, any citizen will be able to privatize their land after erecting a fence around their land. This is impossible for many groups of people such as children, the elderly, the disabled, and military officials and other workers who are appointed to other places. Around 93% of our citizens are not able to have their land added on a cadastral map and build a fence. With the new draft we tried our best to eradicate such issues and give equal opportunity for our citizens to privatize their land. Many unprecedented options have been introduced in the new bill. For example, there will be additional options for land privatization purposes. Under the current law people can only privatize land for family living purposes and therefore they take only enough land for building a house and don’t seek more opportunities.
-Does this mean that not every citizen but simply whole families are privatizing land at the moment, in accordance with the current law?
-Yes. Say there’s a family of five. Under the current law, once one member of the family privatizes a piece of land for family purposes, the other four members of that family are not able to privatize other land for family purposes. Therefore, we included an article in our draft bill that states that Mongolian citizen may privatize land for both family and business purposes. As a result, citizens will be able to privatize a part of the entity they hold a share of. Furthermore, the owner of the land for business purposes will not have to permanently reside there.
Also, now land is being privatized directly, but under the new draft bill citizens who haven’t privatized their land yet will be provided with a land certificate, which is the first stage of privatization. Furthermore, they will be entered into a lottery for the area they are interested in privatizing, which will solve issues over where the land would be. In addition, citizens may use the certificate as collateral for loans or put it on the market. But the main aim of the draft bill is to provide a chance for every citizen to have their own land. According to our draft bill, an administration authority named the Land Corporation will be established that will be in charge of measuring, allotting and building pillars on land to denote that it is privatized land. The pillar will provide clear numbers and information on the privatized land on the spot.
-Does this mean that the Land Corporation will divide land into 0.07 hectares or will new measurements be introduced?
-The 0.07 hectares of land for every citizen will not change. The State won’t obligate citizens to live on or build a fence around their privatized land. They are free to sell or exchange the land. But the pillar built by the Land Corporation will be property of the State. Legal Action will be taken against anyone who moves or damages pillars.
-If citizens will decide to sell their land, foreign citizens might buy it. Or only a few wealthy citizens may end up with most of the land. How will you manage such issues?
-The current law doesn’t monitor whether Mongolian land is being privatized by foreigners. But if our draft bill is passed, a Land Exchange will be established alongside the Land Corporation. It would manage the land exchange affairs. If any citizen wants to sell their land certificate, it will pass through the Land Exchange. Information on what land is being sold or taken as collateral to which people will be received by the Land Exchange. But it won’t store information about rent. If anyone sells their land to a foreigner, the state will confiscate the land immediately.
If our draft bill is discussed at the Parliament Meeting, members will be free to include their suggestions. Ts. Bayarsaikhan and J. Batzandan of our party have already expressed their willingness to include additional parts to the draft bill. Trade after the land is privatized will be managed considering the opinions of the party members. For instance, the maximum amount of land which can be privatized per person will be determined.
-If each Mongolian citizen privatizes their land, what percentage of our country will be privatized?
-Three percent of Mongolian territory will be privatized in total. When the land privatization began, the state planned to privatize maximum 3 percent of Mongolian territory.
-If the draft bill is passed, there seem to be many preparations to be made to enforce the new law. Isn’t it right?
-Yes, many preparations will be required. The Land Corporation will be established and a team of professional engineers will be formed to install pillars. The pillar system will be a completely new system in our country. According to research, citizens spend between 1 and 5 million MNT on building fences. Therefore, the pillar system will save citizens money.
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