OWNERSHIP of rights pertaining to crown land should revert to their initial iTaukei owners, said Nayawa villager Peniasi Vakili while presenting his submission to the Constitution Commission team in Nadroga last Friday.
Mr Vakili also submitted the newly set-up Government Land Bank department be abolished along with the Agricultural Land and Tenant Act (ALTA).
"There should be a provision in the new constitution which abolishes ALTA and any other laws like it because these prevent the landowners from receiving the actual value of our leases and we feel we are greatly disadvantaged through such arrangements," the Nayawa villager said.
"We have also noticed that the 30-year lease term under ALTA has been amended to 99-year leases and we totally disagree with this amendment.
"The Land Bank should be abolished because as landowners, we see that land taken from us is not to our advantage and money gained from these leases is not fully given to the landowners.
"We further propose that the lease monies we receive on the current leases are unfairly paid to us and we propose that the marketability rate to be given to us rather than the unimproved capital value (UCV) of the land," he said.
Mr Vakili further submitted all commercial and industrial leases be reconsidered saying landowners did not benefit fully from the said leases.
"We are only receiving lease rent while the companies or businesses leasing on our lands are reaping the beneficial use of this land with regards to the business they are operating."
Mr Vakili said it was only just the lease monies paid to landowners be calculated relevant to the earnings of a business for without a particular piece of land, a business or company would not have a physical site to operate from.
"For instance, the Pacific Transport Company is leasing a parcel of our land at Sigatoka and we are only receiving $500 per annum from the land rent while the company is getting more than $10,000 per day. This is unfair to landowners and we want a certain percentage of the income to be also given to the landowners."