500 Certificates of Title to be Issued Under Lamp Soon

Five hundred certificates of title are now being prepared for issue to beneficiaries under the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP).
This was announced by Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Roger Clarke, during his contribution to the 2007/08 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, yesterday (April 18). Mr. Clarke also noted that last year, 250 certificates of title were handed over to beneficiaries.
“The Land Administration and Management Programme is literally flooding the registrar of titles with applications, so much so that a special desk has been established at the titles office to handle the volume. In fact, some 8,000 legal files have been opened and 5,000 of these files are now being processed for new certificates of title,” informed Mr. Clarke.
“The programme has been tremendous. Having completed surveys of nearly 30,000 parcels of land in St. Catherine using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and armed with the Special Provisions Act of 2005, which provides substantial relief for LAMP beneficiaries in respect of stamp duties, transfer and registration fees, we are in a position to take off,” Mr. Clarke said.
Mr. Clarke informed that although the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) funding came to an end in February, the Government has provided $164 million in the 2007/08 budget to continue the programme in other parishes.
He added that an allocation of $18 million has been made to expand the virtual reference system network of GPS reference stations from three to 13.
“This network will comprehensively cover the island, and provide real time accurate positioning data, reduce production time and cost associated with traditional surveying,” said Mr. Clarke.
“We clearly have the formula to accelerate the titling process in this country. The virtual reference system network will cost an estimated $41 million, so this allocation of $18 million will complement the contribution of the National Water Commission and the National Housing Trust in this effort,” he added.
The Minister also informed the House that the Ministry would be working towards facilitating development by making lands available for agriculture and other purposes.
“While we refine our divestment policy to make progress more transparent and structured, we will also be streamlining the processes as they relate to the operations of the Estate Management Division of the National Land Agency (NLA) to make it more facilitatory and quick to respond to request from potential investors for lands,” said the Minister. “This can only be effective with a comprehensive inventory. The Ministry therefore intends to build upon the work done under LAMP to establish a database of public lands and buildings,” he added.
In the meantime, Mr. Clarke said the Ministry has been working around the clock with various local authorities and regulatory agencies to secure sub-divisional approvals for a number of schemes under the NLA’s Land Settlement Scheme.
“We started a programme with individual parish councils and made significant progress of securing sub-divisional approvals for a number of schemes, particularly in Clarendon, which has put us in a position to issue titles for some 929 lots this year. At the same time, we were able to undertake surveys in six schemes, involving some 501 lots,” said Mr. Clarke.
The Minister pointed out that some 276 titles were delivered to beneficiaries under the Land Settlement Programme in various title ceremonies across the island.

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