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PM: Govt to toughen action on land occupation, disputes

The government is committed to addressing the problem of the occupation of state land, including protected forests, as well as dealing with land disputes in connection with development projects, the Prime Minister has told lawmakers.
Addressing the ongoing 3rd Ordinary Session of the National Assembly (NA) last week, Premier Phankham Viphavanh admitted that the unlawful occupation of land continues and requires a robust response.
Some individuals have unlawfully occupied state land, including protected forests. There have also been cases in which local authorities gave state land to businesses in exchange for infrastructure development in their communities, which is in clear violation of the law, the PM said.
In addition, some businesses have earmarked and cleared land for development projects over and above the area granted by the government.
In other cases, businesses have cleared land before submitting a project proposal, which has resulted in disputes.
“There are many instances of such illicit acts,” the prime minister said in response to questions raised by Assembly members about the government’s plans to address the illegal occupation of land and disputes concerning the misappropriation of land.
He acknowledged that disputes over land continue to be a pressing issue and occur in various forms.
There have been many cases of disputes occurring when state authorities wanted to use land for development projects, but the land use rights were held by local people who were offered compensation that was considered to be grossly inadequate.
Disputes have also arisen between investors who were granted investment permits and people whose land was affected, as well as between private entities themselves, the premier said.
In light of these issues, the prime minister pledged that the government would step up inspections.
“The most important thing is to strictly enforce the law against individuals or entities that violate the law,” the premier said.
He also stressed the need to expedite the issuing of land titles. The land titles can be used as a legal reference when claiming fair treatment in the event of a dispute.
“The important work the government must pay attention to is to digitalise the land database to register (land) and issue land titles, which is still unfinished,” he told the session.
The categorisation and zoning of land for specific purposes will also be accelerated to facilitate land management.
“Once these works are finished, the issue (land disputes) will be addressed,” the prime minister said.


By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
 (Latest Update June 29, 2022)

       

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