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Nov 20, 2019

Lands Minister Explains Extension of Land Amnesty Programme

The government’s Land Amnesty Programme has been extended by a month and three weeks. The programme was originally conceived as a six-month initiate, but a statutory instrument, which was gazetted on October twenty-sixth and signed by the Ministry of Lands, Hugo Patt pushes the deadline to June first. A twenty-five percent discount is being offered for landowners who are in debt with taxes. According to the Minister of Natural Resources, Hugo Patt, the programme is unfolding well. While he was not able to answer how much taxes have been collected, we are told that the amnesty is said to be in the range of ninety million dollars. Minister Patt also explained the need for an extension. 

 

Hugo Patt

Hugo Patt, Minister of Natural Resources

“Remember there was a delay. This had to do with processing; it had to do with procedures. So we had advertised that the program itself be extended, would be initially for six months but because of timing and procedures we couldn’t meet the deadline as we had wanted to and so in an effort to give people an opportunity to meet the six months as we had actually indicated then the deadline was extended. The Ministry is open for a payment plan and in the event that any landowner is not able to come out with the money to pay up for the rents accrued to government we are open to acquiring land in lieu of taxes. This is an initiative that we are doing. This is only going for those large land owners. Bear in mind that the bulk of what we are doing is for people who owe two thousand dollars or less so that those people we are very reasonable with them when it comes to the payments. But for some large land owners we are talking about in some cases millions and so we are seriously looking at that issue.”


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