MPs urge govt to rein in farmland sales

The subdivision and selling of farmland must be done by the national government, not by local management and development committees, a legislator in the Upper House has said.

U Myo Win, MP for Mon State constituency 1, underscored the need for the national government to regulate the activities of management and development committees in townships across the country, which have been selling farmland.

U Min Oo, MP for Bago Region constituency 6, seconded the proposal, noting that farmland across the country is fast dwindling because of unregulated selling.

“There is a need to review some of the transactions and loss of cultivated lands,” he said. “A policy should be set governing their sale,” he said.

The government should come up with data on farmland which has been converted into residential areas, the legislator said.

According to the Farmland Law 2012, farmland includes paddy land, perennial plant land, dhani land, garden land, land for growing vegetables and flowers, and alluvial islands.

“If farmland, which is our most important resource, is lost, food security and the country’s economy will be affected. Farmland needs to be protected to ensure the food security of the generations to come,” U Min Oo said.

He alleged that some of the local citizens buying land are acting on behalf of non-citizens who want to own land in the country.

U Khun Win Thaung, Upper House MP for Kachin State constituency 11, said that vested interests are protecting the unscrupulous people who are selling land.

Another legislator, U Aye Bo of Yangon Region constituency 11, said that castor oil plantations are considered by lessees to be inherited land, and they are selling them.

He also charged that the urban planning and management department as well as development committees are allocating water access sites as grant lands.

“These are rights of authority, but this is bad management and mismanagement. Please implement a measure that can control these actions effectively,” he said.


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