Officials Require Progress on Land Concessions

Land Concessions

The government will begin to firmly regulate concession projects by withdrawing land if no advancement is made on the proposed project, urging authorities to participate in the process.

Speaking on behalf of the government, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, set forth the new regulation in response to the National Assembly’s (NA) concerns regarding land concessions.

The PM stated, “if an investor who has been given a concession is found not to proceed with the stated project in the timeframe agreed, I ask local authorities to actively investigate and report their findings to the government.”

Officials acknowledge that several concession projects have been granted, but investors seldom fulfil their end of the bargain, neglecting the contract and relevant laws. In most cases, people applying for these concessions acquire the land for the purpose of transferring it to other investors, thereby making a profit.

Relevant ministries are requested to urgently take action when they receive a report indicating possible misconduct.

NA members also touched on the issue of investors refusing to obey the requests of local authorities. Prime Minister Thongloun explained that local authorities would be required to sign off on all concession deals and other development project agreements made at the central or local level.

The Prime Minister also addressed the subject of encroachment onto state land by investors with, “in this case, local authorities have the right to use measures directly to prevent encroachment at the first stage before it continues any further. The authorities should not wait for orders from the government. If local authorities are unable to influence the situation, please inform the related sector or ministry so they can deal with the matter.”

Acquiring land without further advancing it, not only delays the country’s development but denies other developers the opportunity to use the land effectively.

Clarifying that the government would not allow a monopoly in investment, but supported competition he added, “Effective investment and the implementation of development projects that follow the law will help to strengthen the economy.”

According the Prime Minister, the government is revising its policies before submitting them to the Politburo, which is expected to propose a resolution by the Party Central Committee in order to appropriately address the issues regarding land use.