YCDC official says unutilised industrial land could be appropriated

No businesses have been set up on some 40 percent of the land designated as industrial zones in Yangon and action will be taken to rectify the matter, say city officials

Yangon City Development Committee Associate Secretary U Than said that unused land would be appropriated in a press conference on Monday.

“While some 60pc of land zoned as industrial around Yangon is being utilised for its intended purpose, the rest is just fenced off and left idle. We have compiled a list of unutilised industrial land and informed the owners to either do something with it or have it appropriated,” said U Than

According to U Than, some of the unused land has buildings, whether completed or partially built, on it although they appear not be operational.

However, not everyone is supportive of the proposed move.

A business owner in the Shwe Lin Ban Industrial Zone, who declined to be named, said: “Perhaps the land owners are not running businesses because the economy is slow. We need to find out first the situation on the ground and why they are not using the land as intended. The authorities also have to be clear about which laws will be used to appropriate the land.”

Currently, owners of unused industrial land have to pay a fee of 10pc of the price of the land for every year the land goes unutilised.

For the plots in which there is no business operation will have to pay 10pc of the plot price for every year when allotted project time is up. If the fine is not paid, the permit or grant will be revoked. The Industrial Zone Bill covering these issues was approved in the Pyithu Hluttaw (House of Representatives) on September 3.

Under the bill, owners of plots of land in industrial zones taken up in advance but which are still not being utilised will have to obtain approval for maintaining the land by submitting a business plan within six months of the bill being enacted.

The reasons the land is not being used need to be determined. Some of the land is also occupied by squatters and the authorities need to help in such matters, said another business owner in an industrial zone.

Yangon has 29 industrial zones and the regional government is making arrangements to set another 11 in townships outside the YCDC’s municipal area. A proposal for this has already been submitted to the Yangon Region Hluttaw.

Industrial zones in other states and regions face issues with electricity, water, roads, management, and logistics chains, say some business people.

They added that proper infrastructure needs to be put in place first if new industrial zones are to be successful.

Source: Myanmar Times

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