Kathmandu, June 27
Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives has issued a public notice to land owners and tenants telling them to end dual ownership of property within one year.
MALMC has adopted this measure with the aim of boosting the productivity of land and ending hassles between land owners and tenants owing to dual ownership of property.
Under-secretary at MALMC Gopal Giri said that his ministry had issued a public notice seeking applications from land owners and tenants by August 20. “Our ministry had issued such a notice last year but all the tenants and owners did not submit their applications. Therefore, we have issued the notice again,” he said and added that the concerned Land Reform Offices in districts would end dual ownership within one year.
Giri said that the government wanted land owners and tenants to end dual ownership by dividing half of the land between them as per the law. “Our ministry is encouraging the two parties to reach a deal on the partition of land property because we believe that if they themselves decide to divide land property between them that will be better. If we have to take this decision, the two parties might think that we have imposed our decision on them,” he said.
Giri said that if any tenant or land owner did not submit an application, the concerned Land Reform Office would play a proactive role to end dual ownership.
Giri said that the new measures would apply only in those land plots where tenancy right had been established before 1996.
An amendment was made to the Land Act in 1997 abolishing new tenancy rights. Many tenants relinquished their tenancy rights after getting half of the land from the owner as per the rules, but there are many tenants who have not done so.
MALMC, which has been collecting data of land owned by both owners and tenants, believes there are around 100,000 tenant families in Nepal who need to give up their tenancy rights after getting half the land.
Giri said that tenancy rights was bad for both land owner and tenant because banks hesitate to give loans to both the parties and family members also face problems while partitioning such properties. “When a land plot is owned by both tenant and the real owner, nobody makes dedicated effort to till the land thereby affecting productivity of the land,” Giri said.
A few days ago, Tenancy Problem Resolution Unit of MALMC issued a public notice reminding land owners and tenants to file their applications by August 20. It said that the concerned government agencies will end dual ownership by August 21, 2019, as per a public notice issued in Nepal Gazette on November 10, 2017.
A version of this article appears in print on June 28, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.