Vice-President U Henry Van Thio, in his capacity as chairman of Central Scrutinizing Committee on Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands, attended the ceremony yesterday to present land use permits for the confiscated lands in Yaksawk Township in southern Shan State.
Those present at the ceremony were Union Minister Dr Aung Thu, Deputy Ministers U Tin Myint, Maj-General Soe Tint Naing, Maj-Gen Myint Nwe and responsible officials.
At the event, the Ministry of Defence returned 5,814.70 acres of agricultural land which were included in 10,634.956 acres of Kantawmin area, to the 1,116 farmers who are the original landowners.
The Union Government has been able to return confiscated lands for 24 times up to now, and this time is the largest number of acres released by the Ministry of Defence.
The Vice-President said at the ceremony to ensure proper return of lands to the original owners as there were some delays in the scrutinizing process due to arguments among the owners and the users although the lands have been returned by the relevant ministry.
The committee has announced the list of successful land-use applicants on the notice board and in the state-owned newspapers to ensure that the original owners would not lose their land ownership rights in case they could not be contacted.
The Vice-President explained that the government focussed on the return of confiscated lands to the owners as the agricultural lands are the lifeblood of farmers in an agro-based country like Myanmar.
He added that the return of seized lands would help in reducing both domestic migration and international migration, squatting in cities and preventing the loss of human resources from the country.
He also advised the farmland owners to cultivate high- quality crops by using mechanized farming, as they are responsible for socio-economic development of their families.
The Administration of Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Law 2012 was amended on 11 September 2018, and the Farmland Law 2012 on 14 February 2020, to enable the original owners to manage their own lands in the agricultural sectors, lands related to culture and tradition of ethnic nationals and other sectors.
The Vice-President also expressed his appreciations to the officials from the Ministry of Defence, Shan State government and other personnel for their collaboration in returning the confiscated lands.
After this, the Shan State Chief Minister Dr Lin Htut reported on issuing land-use permit Form-7 for the original farmers.
Lt-Col Tin Naing Oo from Ba Htoo Station handed over the land ownership documents to the General Administration Office of Taunggyi district before the government officials and Tatmadaw officers presented Form-7 land-use permits for 1,116 farmers.
The Vice-President and party left Yaksawk for Mawlamyine Township in Mon State by helicopters.
Mon State Chief Minister Dr Aye Zan and officials welcomed them and proceeded to Kyaik Thalan Pagoda to inspect the work being done for the earth retaining wall funded by the National Disaster Management Committee.
The Vice-President also inspected the trial operation of the water supply project from Athtayan river in Mawlamyine.
The 8.5 billion kyat project could supply 4.8 gallons of water each day to 16 residential wards to the city of Mon State.—MNA (Translated by Aung Khin)