Land deal for settlers

THE Ministry of Local Government has developed 26 leases so far to cater for 15,350 informal settlers.

This was revealed by Minister for Local Government Parveen Kumar while officiating at the fifth Fijian Local Government Forum at the Albert Park conference room in Suva yesterday.

Mr Kumar said leases would provide fair rent and premium, and would also benefit landowning units.

“Informal settlers in the past were referred to as squatters. In the past, we have found that majority of the settlements have been on the basis of vakavanua arrangements between the landowners and tenants,” Mr Kumar said.

He said the ministry, in partnership with the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) and landowners have processed development leases in three divisions.

In the Central Division, development leases for seven settlements have been issued with about 8800 people to benefit, five development leases in the Northern Division for about 2300 people and 14 development leases for the Western Division for about 4250 people. To address this national issue, Mr Kumar said the ministry and TLTB had entered into an agreement.

“The issuance of development leases is to enable TLTB and the Ministry of Local Government meet one of the national objectives of Government, which is to provide affordable houses and land lots to those who do not have access to residential land and proper lease,” he said.

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