Land bank motion out

A MOTION by Opposition to remove the Land Bank Investment under Head 33 of the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources was defeated in Parliament.

In moving the motion during the Committee of Supply sitting in Parliament on Thursday, Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula claimed the land bank was evil and took away the rights of indigenous resource owners.

“Their rights mean you give to them ownership like you do under Section 28 of the Constitution, but also full control in the management of their land,” he said.

Mr Nawaikula said the removal of the land bank would result in ownership rights of indigenous resources by the indigenous people.

“Your task is to come forward with measures to balance those rights with the rights of others in the community. It’s wrong of you to take control of their ownership.”

In responding to the motion, Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum said under the land bank investment the land still belonged to the iTaukei landowners.

“Honourable Nawaikula’s analysis of the law is completely misleading. This is the land bank investment helping the landowners invest in their land so they can get the maximum return from it,” Mr Sayed- Khaiyum said.

The Land Bank Investment has been allocated $2.5m in the 2017-2018 National Budget.

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