Idle plots still plague industrial zones

Rampant speculation has driven up the price of plots allocated for industrial use in Yangon Region, preventing factory construction, parliament heard yesterday.

Although more than 10,000 plots were assigned, factories are running on only 3693 of them, and nearly a quarter are lying vacant, said deputy industry minister U Myo Aung.

Speaking to Pyithu Hluttaw, the deputy minister, who is also secretary of the Myanmar Industrial Development Committee, said factories were under construction on 2970 of the plots, and 1299 of them contained warehouses. He told MPs there are a total of 2339 vacant plots.

The idea behind the allocation of 10,301 plots in 24 industrial zones in Yangon Region was to create job opportunities and support economic development.

Land use permits were granted to investors accordingly, said the deputy minister, who did not say when this occurred.

The ministry will now set up a management committee to establish which plots are vacant and consider asking the investors to hand them back.

U Myint Oo, MP for Bago Region’s Thanatpin township, said the plots had been taken over by speculators, causing a surge in price and shutting out small and medium enterprises.

“This land was sold at a very high price. Where did that money come from? Meanwhile, SMEs can’t afford to do business. It’s a big challenge.”

The plots were initially sold at about K5 million each, but prices of K300 to 400 million are now common place, and some particularly desirable plots are valued as high as K700 to 800 million.

The deputy minister could not confirm that one investor was granted more than 6000 plots.

The management committee will ask investors holding vacant plots to submit their proposals to set up businesses there within the next three or four months.

Those who cannot produce plans will be asked to return them.

The committee will also have the power to levy fines if the proposals are not carried out in the time stipulated, in an effort to cut down on speculators leaving the land idle.

Source: Myanmar Times

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