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Government of Nepal to set up Land Bank

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Kathmandu: The government is preparing to set up a ‘Land Bank’ to maximize land use and productivity.

The Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation (MoLMCPA) said that such a bank would be established soon after the government had completed the required laws and policies.

Joint Secretary of the MoLMCPA, Mr Janak Raj Joshi said that they have come up with the concept of Land Bank for cultivating agriculture land which has been largely absorbed. Therefore, the maximum utilization of the land was given priority in the Land Related Act. He added that after the establishment of the land bank if no landowner has cultivated it on their land, they can deposit it in the land bank. Meanwhile, other interested parties can lease such land and use it for agricultural purpose. The move is aimed at making country self-reliant in agriculture, also by providing agricultural loans at low-interest rates.

The ministry is in the process of developing a Geographic Information System (GIS) and systematically archives information about all types of land. The government has implemented a new Land Use Act, 2019. The act first introduced the concept of land bank, classified the land into various categories and authorized the right to impose fines if the land was not used for a particular purpose.

The new legislation has also classified land into 10 categories -agricultural; residential; commercial; industrial; mining and minerals; forests; rivers, streams, ponds and wetlands; public use; cultural and archaeological; and others.

The new act allows the government to impose fines of up to Rs 100,00, leaving the agricultural land sterile for three years without informing the local government. A fine of up to Rs 200,000 if anyone does not follow the land use survey drawing and land use plan. and a fine of up to Rs 300,000 if the land is not used for the designated purpose.

According to the Joshi, the ministry will formulate new guidelines for various land use including the concept of the land bank. The concept of the land bank is currently under discussion and the ministry will soon introduce related policies.

Source: THT