JIS News

The Government stands to earn some $64 million in potential revenue from the sale or lease of State lands to 38 applicants whose submissions have been approved.

State Minister for Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Ian Hayles, made the disclosure while making his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House on June 18, under the theme: ‘The Urgency is Now!!’

Mr. Hayles informed that the 38 approved applications were shortlisted from 71 processed by the Government’s Land Divestment Advisory Committee during the 2012/13 fiscal year. He explained that 41 were originally shortlisted from which the 38 were recommended and two were not.

He advised that the outstanding applications of the 41 along with the remaining 30 “were deferred for further information or clarification.”

Mr. Hayles assured that as the administration seeks to “broaden the land ownership base”, steps have been taken to ensure that the divestment process is undertaken in a “fair and transparent manner”.

Noting the administration’s cognizance that the divestment process “is still slow”, the State Minister said they have undertaken “to help bring clarity to the process”. He said that to this end, they have been working on a policy and procedure manual, which sets out best practices guiding the lease and sale of Government-owned lands.

“The aim is to encourage effective and sustainable use and management of our scarce land resources. That manual has been prepared, and as soon as it is approved by Cabinet, we will be formally launching the ‘Policy and Procedure Manual for Divestment of Government-owned lands’,”Mr. Hayles advised.

Contact: Douglas McIntosh