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Utilize land or face action, warns Minister Aryal

The land should be plotted in line with the set guidelines. It should not be done in a haphazard manner.

Khabarhub

February 4, 2019

5 MIN READ

Utilize land or face action, warns Minister Aryal

The current government commands a two-thirds majority. This government retains the power to amend the Constitution if deemed necessary for the welfare of the people. People are hopeful that this government will address the issues the communists have been raising since the very beginning. Khabarhub had a brief conversation with Minister for Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Padma Aryal for her views on political, social and contemporary issues. Excerpts:

There have been speculations and accusations surrounding the land plotting issue following the government’s ban on it. It has been alleged that land mafias are acting from behind the curtain in cahoots with the government staffers and state actors. What is the fact?  

The government had put a ban on land plotting on August 10, 2017. I took charge as the Minister for Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation on September 4, 2018. I studied the issues related to land plotting during the period. The ban on land plotting not only affected people but also created a mess in urbanization due to the lack of standard guidelines.

Those especially weak, gullible and innocent have suffered the most. There have been reports of bribery. The issue needs to be reviewed and addressed. The Supreme Court also issued an order to open land plotting through by introducing urbanization guidelines.

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), National Vigilance Center and Parliamentary Committees are in favor of the land plotting. The land should be plotted in line with the set guidelines. It should not be done in a haphazard manner.

We have not barred people from carrying out land-related transactions. We should strictly follow the set urban guidelines while carrying out land transactions.

The fertile land has been split in an unbridled manner in Nepal. Scrupulous land-mafias have become billionaires overnight by running real estate splitting land. Does it mean that you could not control staffers and the department under your ministry?

Let me clarify it.  There have been reports that land plotting has not been banned. It has just been managed. The local government has been fully empowered to tame it. The technical committee, land revenue offices, and survey offices are involved in this issue.

The land has been categorized as residential, commercial, and tourist lands. We have not barred people from carrying out land-related transactions. We should strictly follow the set urban guidelines while carrying out land transactions.

With the Nepali youths going abroad for foreign employment, the portion of barren land is getting bigger every year. What is our national land policy?

We have introduced a policy to properly manage the land. It will help tackle existing problems related to land. Similarly, we have also brought a Land Use Act for land utilization. It includes the categorization of land. We have to utilize every bit of land including hills, individual and government land.

What punishment will a person have to face if she/he leaves his land unused? What plans do you have?

We will launch an awareness program to encourage people to use their every bit of land. The government will launch a campaign to bring back youths working as migrant workers in the foreign country.

We can develop our country only when we stop the trend of youths going abroad and utilize their skills and energy for the development of the country.

Some powerful people have been occupying land impersonating themselves as landless squatters. How do you deal with this issue?

First of all, we have to identify it. We have also made a certain kind of guidelines. How long have they been staying in the area? We will also try to find out whether the landless squatters have land plots elsewhere. We will start implementing the acts by February 27. The government will make efforts in implementing acts during the remaining four years.

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