Pend­ing ti­tle deeds to be slashed to 2,000 by end-year

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The govern­ment has pledged to dras­ti­cally re­duce the num­ber of pend­ing ti­tle deeds from 30,000 at present to just 2,000 by the end of the year, a fete re­garded by many as an ex­tremely high or­der con­sid­er­ing the bu­reau­cracy in some de­part­ments and the lack of co­op­er­a­tion from property de­vel­op­ers.

In­te­rior Min­is­ter Socrates Hasikos, tak­ing an enor­mous bur­den of re­spon­si­bil­ity on his shoul­ders, just as his pre­de­ces­sors had at­tempted, said that fol­low­ing re­forms in lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion, the next sig­nif­i­cant tar­get of the Me­moran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing with the troika of in­ter­na­tional lenders is to re­duce the num­ber of ti­tle deeds pend­ing for ap­proval at the Land Registry.

“Af­ter com­plet­ing the eval­u­a­tion of the prop­er­ties, the sec­ond top obli­ga­tion is the is­suance of the ti­tle deeds, as by the end of the year the ti­tles to be is­sued should be re­duced to 2,000,” he said, adding that the Registry has only six months to con­clude this task.

Hasikos said the govern­ment and the Troika may also agree in the com­ing days on a re­duc­tion in the trans­fer fees in the real es­tate sec­tor by 50%, but that the Troika heads of mis­sion wish to ex­plore what fis­cal im­pact such an ac­tion would have.

“This is one of the is­sues un­der dis­cus­sion and I ex­pect that in the com­ing days we will con­clude this is­sue and pro­ceed with a 50% re­duc­tion in these fees,” he said, adding that the govern­ment will present fig­ures jus­ti­fy­ing this re­duc­tion.

“I have the im­pres­sion we will con­vince (our lenders),” he con­cluded, as the Troika of­fi­cials pre­pare to leave the is­land by Thurs­day.

Hasikos said that the govern­ment and the in­ter­na­tional lenders agreed on the re­form of the lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion on the ba­sis of a sec­ondary or­gan as part of changes in the pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion.

This im­plies re­struc­tur­ing the 39 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and 487 com­mu­ni­ties into district coun­cils that, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts from Bri­tain’s Na­tional School of Govern­ment In­ter­na­tional, would se­cure economies of scales in the oper­a­tion of the lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion as well as more ef­fec­tive oper­a­tion.

The In­te­rior Min­is­ters added that Cyprus has un­til the end of the year to dis­cuss with all stake­hold­ers the com­pe­ten­cies which will be granted to this or­gan and sub­mit a bill to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives for ap­proval.

Hasikos said all stake­hold­ers should grant com­pe­ten­cies to this sec­ondary or­gan, both the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and the govern­ment it­self through the District Of­fices.

He said the govern­ment aims to serve the in­ter­est of the tax­pay­ers and the cit­i­zens and to save money through the syn­er­gies cre­ated from the oper­a­tion of this or­gan.

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