Diverted industrial land hinders development for Mandalay businesses

The Ministry of Industry is considering ways to improve access to land for businesspeople, including looking at ending speculation and housing on industrial property, said deputy industry minister U Thein Aung.

The ministry is creating a list of land granted to businesspeople, aiming to find a solution to vacant lands and plots where people have set up homes rather than businesses, before submitting the findings to the state, he said.

“If the industrial businessmen cannot perform under the rules with which they were given the land, the industrial businessmen will give their granted land to the government,” he said at a July 25 meeting in Mandalay. “We will tackle this problem smoothly.”

U Thein Aung said at a May 16 meeting that the high prices of land, driven up by speculators, is hindering business development. Some sell the property for use as housing instead of for businesses, or let the property sit idle in hopes of selling at a higher price.

The Union government has prioritised industrial projects, with 25 different sites planned, said U Thein Aung.

Yet who owns the industrial land can be difficult to discover, as often buyers do not register the land when it changes hands, sometimes in a bid to avoid transaction taxes.

“The new government has about 20 months left [before the 2015 election],” he said. “We want to solve the problem of high land prices in this period.”

Mandalay-based officials said that much of the industrial land is lying empty, partly due to speculation.

There are 593 industrial businesses on the Mandalay Industrial Zone, though some occupy more than one 40 by 60 foot plot, said U Mg Mg Oo, secretary of the governing committee.

“We can say that only 50pc of the businesses are left,” he said.

U Kyaw Kyaw Lwin, an official from the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development, said a number of industrial plots have been turned into houses and shops.

“The strict regulations for the industrial zone do not allow for private houses,” he said. U Kyaw Kyaw Lwin added that those buying and renting land must inform the zone’s administrative committee.

Mandalay city has three industrial zones – zone 1, 2 and 3. Zone 1 began in 1990, zone 2 was opened in 1998 and zone 3 from 2003.


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