JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The legislation seeks to ensure that Government-owned lands are disposed of fairly.
  • Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, opened the debate.
  • The Government is the largest owner of land in Jamaica.

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, September 24, passed amendments to the Crown Property (Vesting) Act.

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, who opened the debate, said the legislation seeks to ensure that Government-owned lands are disposed of fairly, transparently, and equitably, in order to widen the base of land ownership in Jamaica.

The Crown Property (Vesting) Act empowers the Commissioner of Lands to acquire, hold and dispose of land and other property of whatever kind. However, this power cannot be exercised without general or special authority in writing from the Minister.

Mr. Pickersgill informed that the Act, however, makes no provision for the Minister to be advised on technical issues to inform his decision making.

The Bill, therefore, seeks to amend the Act in order to establish the Land Divestment Advisory Committee, which will provide professional and technical advice regarding divestment to the Minister in the exercise of general or special authority.

The Government is the largest owner of land in Jamaica with the majority of the land assets vested in the Commissioner of Lands.