Session to discuss the improvement of legislation on protection and use of lands

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It is essential to fine-tune land issues in Belarus, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the session held on 21 May to discuss the improvement of legislation on the protection and use of lands.

A draft decree on amending the legislation concerning the withdrawal and provision of land plots was submitted to the head of state.

“You are aware of my attitude to land, especially farmland, and forest areas. At present construction projects and other activities connected with the acquisition of lands cannot be done without the president’s approval,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

He reminded that some time ago governors of Belarusian regions had a right to supervise the allotment of lands. However, they were stripped of this right some tome later. “I explained why it happened. We had never had such a chaos with land as we had during that time. We saw all kinds of buildings, warehouses, enterprises and housing built on farmlands,” the head of state remarked.

“We must not use arable lands for such purposes. Many generations of people took care of them,” the President stressed. “Land resources are very important for any state. This is why I have such an attitude to this issue,” he added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that before signing a corresponding decree he would like to discuss the rational use of land resources. “It is our wealth. Agricultural lands account for 90% of our territory. They should be used efficiently,” he said.

The President asked those present at the meeting about the reasons for revising existing regulations. He also asked what the government is planning to do to improve the use land resources and raise the efficiency of activities in this field.

“I would like to say that it is essential to clean up lands. They are our brand and our face. All people arriving in our country say that we live in harmony with nature, that we have created good conditions for rest and life,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Belarus has clean air and land resources, plenty of forests. The President said that these are the reasons why he pays so much attention to the use of farmland and forest resources. “I will toughen my requirements in the future,” the President said.

Economic instruments to improve the effectiveness of land usage were discussed during the government conference. In particular, relevant amendments to tax laws were suggested. Matters concerning the cleanup and disposal of industrial territories, animal farms, decrepit buildings were discussed.

The head of state pointed out that many citizens, individual real estate developers, dacha cooperatives request new land plots that have to be connected to the utilities and communications infrastructure later on. At the same time there are many empty land plots in villages.

The President noted that one of the main priorities is the protection of citizens from unfair developers. In particular, the government has put forward a proposal that in case an unfair developer does not fulfill obligations, the land plot will not be put up for auction once again. As a result, the construction costs will not increase, the land plot will be immediately provided to another developer, people will be able to buy housing at a previous price.

Apart from that, local authorities many be authorized to solve certain issues connected with the protection of rights of certain categories of citizens.

The session also focused on forage harvesting. The head of state reiterated that the present situation will influence the future production of animal husbandry products, their quality and sales.

The President was also informed about the approaches to cleaning up recreation zones near the Zaslavl water storage (Minsk Sea). Responsibility for polluting recreation zones and illegal parking will be toughened.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that it is essential to raise the efficiency of land use.