The Full Story
A sum of $272.47 million has been set aside in the 2008/09 Estimates of Expenditure to continue land administration and management programmes, in order to promote sustainable development of the planned and unplanned natural environment.
The sum has been assigned to different sub-components, including: Acquisition of Land; National Estate Management; Repairs and Improvements; Jamaica Land Titling Project; and the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP).
The latter will receive the lion’s share of $236.27 million to continue to promote efficient administration and management, and rationalize the allocation and use of land resources in an integrated and sustainable manner, by implementing critical aspects of the National Land Policy of Jamaica.
The Land Registration Component in St. Catherine will be completed; public relations and land tenure work undertaken in Clarendon; and land tenure work continued for the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) in St. Catherine,
St. Elizabeth, and St. Thomas. In addition, revenue inflows will be generated from the NIC ($18.781 million) and from internal funds ($40 million).
Meanwhile, $6.68 million has been allocated for acquisition of land under the Government land settlement scheme. Under this programme, the majority of lands targeted are required to be surveyed before they can be divested to land settlement allottees. The programme also undertakes payments for Project Land Lease properties leased by the Commissioner of Lands from private landowners, along with fees for surveying the properties. The allotment also includes drainage fees payable to the NIC.
According to the Estimates, which are now before the House of Representatives, during the new fiscal year, 450 parcels of land will be surveyed, and certificates of title issued for 200 parcels of land.
During the 2007/08 fiscal period, 228 parcels of land were surveyed and 446 certificates of title prepared.
Meanwhile, $12.585 million has been assigned to the National Estate Management programme, to complete inventory of 6,000 parcels of land, and complete infrastructure and terrain audit of 60 Project Land Lease schemes.
The system is expected to improve the management of crown lands, with one of the primary benefits being the improvement in the productive use of government-owned property in support of national, social, economic and other developmental policy, and assist in the accelerated and transparent divestment of properties. During the 2007/08 fiscal period, infrastructure and terrain audit of 62 Project Land Lease schemes, was completed.
The Jamaica Land Titling project will benefit from $11.06 million to continue to assist with the development of the Land Information and Cadastral Mapping system, which supports land registration and divestment, land valuation, and general information access for informed decision-making. Major emphasis will be on: continued preparation and maintenance of a digital cadastral index of the island; scanning of Certificates of Title, Deposited Plans, Strata Plans, and Title documents; repair of bound Title Volumes; bounding of Title documents; and improvement of office facilities.
For repairs and improvements, $5.89 million will be spent to upgrade the offices of the National Land Agency across the island. For the new fiscal year, it is planned that an additional wing of some 2,400 square feet be constructed, adjoining the existing structure to house the Southern and Northern regions of the Land Valuation Division, as well as the Finance, Audit and Human Resource Unit. All land projects now fall under the Office of the Prime Minister.