28 Aug 2003

NLTB should have an expiry of its lease policy

8:30 pm on 28 August 2003

Fiji's National Federation Party Leader Prem Singh says the Native Lands Trust Board or NLTB's proposed lump sum leases should have an expiry date.

The NLTB has proposed the lump sum payments as an alternative to standard rents, saying all parties will benefit.

Mr Singh says he asked the govt for an expiry of land leases, but was told by the NLTB it'll be detrimental to the owners of the land.

"Which I believe is not true, because the land owners they don't lose anything, the tenants continue paying rental whereas by eviction date, they do not pay rental and the landowners will not receive any money from there. So just for the purpose of continuity and to prevent the social ills that are created by displacing farmers, it'd be in the interest of the govt to grant a moritorium until a proper and absolute land legislation is put in place acceptable to both parties."

National Federation Party Leader, Prem Singh

Mr Singh says the NLTB should work with the government to have some kind of subsidy scheme for tenants.