With the change of government, the conditions through which some policies eased the acquisition of State’s land to acquaintances screened. It is to be noted that there is a whole legal system which manages the states’ land leasing agreement. Close Up.
The granting of State’s land is an issue which often fuel polemics even more when there is suspicion of political collusion. As soon as their rise to power, the new government launched a State’s land allocated to the previous regime’s acquaintances recuperation process. Till this day, 30 acres have been taken back at Palmar. Proceedings are underway to take back a parcel of land on Trou aux Biches beach, 11 acres in Belle Mare, an acre at La Butte, two acres in Balaclava, seven acres in Vacoas and seven acres at Melville.
It must be noted that, like every real estate transaction, the leasing agreement, State’s land allocation obeys multiple criteria. First of all, it must be understood that according to the State Land Act, the State’s land are considered to be inalienable and imprescriptible. This implies that neither the government nor the lands’ previous owners may sell them as they are protected by a legal regime.
Rental Agreements: Rs 720 million in 2012
Bernard D’Hotman de Villiers, notary and secretary of the Mauritius Chamber of Notaries indicates that there are exceptions in the framework of special laws allowing the government to lease a land for a maximum period 99 years. “The option of leasing is the most privileged one. The State’s land cannot be sold. Even the lands allocated to victims of big cyclones such a Gervaise have been leased.” He underlines. It is to be noted that in 2012, the profits coming from the State Land Lease amounted to Rs 720 million.
Other laws govern the lease of State’s lands. The Pas Geometric Act for example, comes to regulate the bails on bungalows in the outskirts of public beaches. The law contains restrictions about the specific size of the lands which may be allocated and the buildings which will be built.
Another law which governs the State’s lands lease: the Shooting and Fishing Lease Act. This law is essentially for hunting and agricultural leases.
“The hunting leases are very well regulated and may last for a maximum of seven years. The practitioners do not have the right to cut trees and may clear only a minimal portion of the area.” Indicates Bernard D’Hotman de Villiers. Generally speaking, estimates our speakers, the legal framework managing the allocation of State’s land is satisfactory but it can still be improved. “The criterion to be considered is the State’s interest and not the particulars’ “, states Bernard d’Hotman de Villiers who adds that there should be “a strengthened control in the administration.”
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For residential needs, it is the National Housing Development Corporation which manages the demands related to the State’s land lease. As for business matters, the competent authorities are in charge. Hence, the demands for lands which will be developed in the port area will be managed by the Mauritius Ports Authority.