Stepped-up measures to return confiscated farmland

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  • Our country had a record amount of rice exported this year. In part, this was because more land was returned to farmers and used for paddies. Farmland, obviously a necessity for developing the agricultural sector, needs to be in the hands of farmers, and authorities concerned are obliged to return previously confiscated land to them as soon as possible.
    A degree of experience has been gained over the last two years under a new government, and all levels of states/regions committees should coordinate and work with goodwill.
    The Central Committee for Reviewing Confiscated Farmlands has amended the policies, work processes and guidelines to conduct works effectively on the ground. The amended policies, work processes and guidelines were distributed to Nay Pyi Taw and states/regions committees concerned for reviewing confiscated farmlands. This takes time, as farmland cases need to be reviewed to ensure they comply with paper documentation requirements concerning ownership and other particulars.
    Due to the weaknesses of some states and regions in handling the complaints according to the policies and work processes of the central committee, and insufficient supporting records and evidence, some cases need to be sent back for re-assessment.
    At the moment, ministries are releasing the land they no longer require, and the Ministry of Defence has released the most amount of land. Although these lands were released by the ministries, in many cases the former owners received them only after considerable time had elapsed. Some were returned to the wrong persons, while the ownership of some is yet to be resolved between former and current owners. As such, many cases were delayed and not finished. The committee chairmen have proposed organizing groups of officials who could conduct a ground survey to prevent discrepancies in the findings.
    Some 6,320 cases of complaints were received by the Central Committee, and they are being transferred to the relevant committees. Of these, the Central Committee found that only 669 cases were resolved and more emphasis needs to be placed on resolving the remaining 5,651 cases.
    Government departments concerned are obliged to provide quick and correct solutions in returning the confiscated land to farmers as the Union government is making arrangements for returning confiscated farmlands and other lands to their original owners in accordance with rules and laws.
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