Gov’t Streamlines Land Allocation for Economic Development

New land-use regulations have been published in the Gazette, establishing a clear framework for the allocation of plots for non-residential purposes. The move, initiated by President Dr Mohamed Muizzu, aims to bolster the economic activities of local councils and strengthen the country’s decentralized system.

The Ministry of Housing, Land and Urban Development played a key role in developing the regulations, which will guide procedures for land assignments. Both the Ministry and relevant local councils will oversee land designation. Councils will be responsible for plots within their jurisdictions, while the Ministry will handle the remaining areas. The new rules outline five potential methods for land allocation:

  • Land Lease
  • Land Trade
  • Provisional Land Assignment
  • Release of Lands to Ministries and State Administrative Bodies
  • Release of Lands with Rent Exemption
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A Land Valuation Committee, appointed by President Dr Muizzu, will establish pricing guidelines. This committee, composed of nine members drawn from various ministries and government authorities, will set minimum rents for leases, minimum sale prices, maximum rent for public service land, and valuations for state-designated plots.

The regulations mandate that councils must allocate land within their jurisdictions through an open tender process, ensuring transparency. Additionally, the rules detail procedures for land registration and renewal. Upon submission of necessary documentation, individuals leasing or purchasing land will obtain a stamped registry.

These developments signal the government’s commitment to both streamlining economic development and empowering local councils. In parallel, the Ministry of Cities, Local Government, and Public Works is taking steps to support uninhabited islands that fall outside the purview of existing councils.

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