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Lukashenko urges to streamline land allocation regulations

MINSK (BelTA) – It is essential to eradicate excessive administrative barriers and ted tape in land allocation, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at the session held on 19 January to discuss the improvement of legislation on the withdrawal and allocation of land plots, BelTA informs.

“Our task is to think over all amendments. I do not mean that it is impossible to revise certain legislative norms: ordinances, presidential decrees, and laws can be amended because life does not stand still and everything changes. But I would like to know why we need to revise this document,” Alexander Lukashenko said. The transfer of land should bring economic benefits to the state. It is also important to eradicate excessive administrative barriers and red tape.”

The President reminded that there were different approaches to the regulation of land laws in Belarus: at first these issues were under strict control, then the governors were authorized to make decisions at the local level providing land plots to investors. However, this concession led to the improper execution of the legislation and, as a result, the desolation of territories. “Therefore, I had to stop the allocation of land plots by governors and transfer this right back to the President. I reiterate: governors know my attitude to land,” the head of state noted.

Alexander Lukashenko stressed that land is the wealth of the country and no one is allowed to ruin it. “This wealth belongs neither to us nor to even our children. It belongs to future generations,” the Belarusian leader said.

In this context, the President wondered if the draft decree aims to protect land resources as the national legacy of the state. “Will it simplify the procedure of land allocation? Can these amendments create loopholes for the manipulations with land? Taking into account people's petitions regarding the withdrawal of land plots for public needs, I would like to know if these measures will help improve the existing situation,” the head of state said. “At present it is very important to draw the land plots occupied by investors failing to fulfill their obligations into the economic circulation. It is needed to deal with such investors, especially in Minsk Oblast.”

It was mentioned at the session that the new Forestry Code became operational in 2017. It changed the approaches to the organization of the forestry industry. Alexander Lukashenko instructed to inform him about the inclusion of the provisions of this document in the draft decree, the amended procedure of allocating lands under forest, and the measures to develop new forestry projects.

The President also asked about hacking down trees near power lines. In his words, overall deforestation or the repetition of the last year's situation when many populated areas were left without electricity are inadmissible. “I have already received the document reading that it is needed to hack down 220 trees along the ring road. Do these trees pose any problems for the power lines? How many trees have already fallen on them? I would like to listen to the explanations of such proposals,” the head of state emphasized.

Chairman of the State Property Committee Andrei Gayev said that the proposals of virtually all government bodies, including the Prosecutor General's Office and the State Control Committee, were taken into account in the preparation of the draft document to amend the decree “On the withdrawal and allocation of land plots”. Besides, the draft decree was available on the website of the State Property Committee and was discussed with the business community.

The document aims to facilitate the procedures and mechanisms of protecting the rights of land users, strengthen responsibility for all land-related decisions without radical changes in the approaches to the allocation and withdrawal of land plots.