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News

11 October 2019, 12:38

‘Legislative Initiatives for Land Reform’: Parliamentary briefing

( Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat )

There has been held a circumstantial briefing themed "Legislative Initiatives for Land Reform" at the premises of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

The briefing was attended by Mykola Solskyi, Chairman of the Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy with his deputy Pavlo Halimon, Taras Vysotskyi, the Deputy Minister of Economy, and Ukrainian presidential envoy for land matters Roman Leshchenko.

 

Mykola Solskyi

At the beginning of the briefing he dwelt on the ongoing land reform, novelties in the land relations legislation, including liable lifting Ukraine’s land moratorium. The chairman stressed this process is being conducted rather openly and publicly.

He then added last night there had been the deadline for submitting alternate draft bills to the land circulation bill tabled by the ministers. One of the alternate bills was filed by members of the committee he heads. According to him, this bill is being already widely discussed by the public, farmers, and heads of agricultural enterprises. It does encompass a broad range of positions, opinions, and thoughts, including Ukrainian top executives’ ones, that should be introduced while organizing the land market.

The key difference between the Cabinet’s draft bill and the Committee’s one is that the latter disallows non-Ukrainians to be – until 2024 - among founders of corporate bodies entitled to buy land, with some redeterminations for those businesses, including ones owned by foreigners, that have been engaged in Ukraine’s farming (and related activities) for at least three years.

Another cornerstone of this alternative bill is seen to be legislating for additional restrictions upon concentration of land per person.  At the oblast level, the concentration percentage is to be reduced to 8% (against 15%), as well as there shall be introduced additional concentration restriction at the ATC (amalgamated territorial community) level - 35%.

"All of these land bills will be later on discussed by all the market participants and citizens in public, and we shall find a common solution that would take into account everybody’s interests, so that the land circulation processes be entirely transparent,” M. Solskyi asserted.

 

Taras Vysotskyi

The deputy minister of economic development noted that on October 1, 2019, the government had introduced the bill, thus triggering ample debates on the land reform.

"We are out to make a round of Ukraine, holding 18 regional land forums, hearing opinions of all strata of the people and stakeholders," the deputy minister stressed.

According to T. Vysotskyi, the ministry will be actively involved in all the discussions to be held by the agrarian committee, aiming to secure the branch of farms and agriculture as the economy’s leader, promote its further development, and lure more investments.

 

Roman Leshchenko

"The President’s position on the land reform just boils down to having national consensus on the issue," Roman Leshchenko, a presidential envoy for land issues, emphasized.

According to him, complexity of the issue is that the interests of different entities can not be consolidated into one position in full, as each entity has its own specificity.  At the same time, he stressed the need to find a "compromise solution that will allow all of us to preserve the agricultural sector as a locomotive of the national economy".

Roman Leshchenko also stressed that the government and the parliament do have their own positions, but the final decision is to be made in a way that to the full extent combines amendments made by factions and parliamentarians, producers and shareholders. Once that is the case, the president is ready to sign the relevant law, thus starting the land reform, the envoy then underlined.

 

Fielding questions from reporters, M. Solskyi also stressed that all the bills registered would be considered and analyzed by the committee in the coming weeks. There will also be held parallel discussions within the community spanning all involved and concerned parties.

"I am in favour of developing a comprehensive instrument which is based upon all the bills that have been proposed," the Chairman of the Committee on Agrarian and Land Policy highlighted.