In­vest­ment law needs amend­ment

Duhok In­vest­ment Di­rec­tor talks to the Kur­dish Globe

The Kurdish Globe - - NATIONAL -

Bakhti­yar Amin, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Duhok In­vest­ment, said in an in­ter­view with the Kur­dish Globe that one year af­ter the de­ci­sion to hold res­i­den­tial project li­censes, still it is not clear when the In­vest­ment Board will re­sume li­cens­ing again.

Be­low is the script of the in­ter­view with Bakhti­yar Amin:

What is the in­vest­ment per­cent­age in Duhok?

The per­cent­age of in­vest­ment in Duhok is 20%, which is UD$ 3 bil­lion in 2012. How­ever in 2011 it was only US$ 1.5 bil­lion. This means that it has dou­bled in one year. The to­tal land al­lo­cated for all 122 in­vest­ment projects was 1750 hectares. More­over, 85% of the projects were im­ple­mented by lo­cal com­pa­nies.

Why in­vest­ment law has not yet been amended?

The most im­por­tant thing to work on is the 2006 In­vest­ment Law, which needs com­plete re­vi­sion and im­prove­ment. We have es­tab­lished a com­mit­tee more than one year ago to study the law and iden­tify the short­ages.

To what ex­tent res­i­den­tial project in­vestors com­mit vi­o­la­tions?

There are sev­eral as­pects of vi­o­la­tion, tech­ni­cal vi­o­la­tions, fi­nan­cial vi­o­la­tions and dis­hon­esty. Many times projects have been put on hold and their own­ers have been fined be­cause of vi­o­la­tions. They have not been al­lowed to re­sume op­er­a­tions un­til the vi­o­la­tions were cor­rected. Some in­vestors do not fol­low the laws and reg­u­la­tions and sell res­i­den­tial units be­fore build­ing. But we deal with these cases ac­cord­ing to the in­vest­ment law.

Why many peo­ple com­plain about de­lays in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the projects?

It is true that most of the time the projects do not com­plete in time; and we have tried to solve them, but there are some is­sues that we can­not solve and are out of our con­trol.

How many res­i­den­tial units have been built in Duhok?

There are 40 projects im­ple­mented in Duhok, which con­sti­tute a to­tal 36,384 units.

To what ex­tent the low in­come peo­ple have ben­e­fited from the projects?

There are no cor­rect sta­tis­tics but def­i­nitely they have had sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the mar­ket and rental rates. How­ever due to lack of any reg­u­la­tions for sell­ing units, the prices go up ev­ery day, and renters do not ben­e­fit from them.

Are there any other con­cerns?

Peo­ple com­plain about prob­lems with the projects and in­vestors com­plain about lack of co­op­er­a­tion by rel­e­vant govern­ment au­thor­i­ties, which makes their op­er­a­tions more dif­fi­cult.

To what ex­tent agri­cul­tural lands have been used for res­i­den­tial projects?

No In­vest­ment Board projects are built on agri­cul­tural lands. Lands are al­lo­cated by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity based on the mu­nic­i­pal master plan of the cities. If a land is orig­i­nally agri­cul­tural but is now within the cities’ master plans and has be­come the prop­erty of the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and is no longer fit for agri­cul­ture, then this should not be counted as an agri­cul­tural land. Oth­er­wise mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties never use agri­cul­tural lands for res­i­den­tial projects.

When will li­cens­ing re­sume for res­i­den­tial projects?

It has been one year the li­censes have been put on hold and it is still not clear when they will re­sume, since they are busy with new reg­u­la­tions and guide­lines, in a way that they will be in the in­ter­est of the pub­lic.

A gen­eral view of a huge res­i­den­tial project in the prov­ince of Duhok.

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