Investigation team to inspect land grants
WHO got the land? An investigation is being launched to look into the circumstances under which land grants were made last February and March in Mandalay Region. The regional hluttaw agreed to launch the probe on July 1 at a special session.
U Myint Aung Moe, regional hluttaw representative for constituency 2 of Chan Mya Tharsi township, proposed the investigation into the apparent granting of public land to private individuals.
His proposal was approved after being seconded by 10 other MPs.
Mandalay City Development Committee head and mayor of Mandalay U Ye Lwin told the hluttaw, “These grants of land to private persons were approved during the time of transition. The land was treated like stocks for playing the market. The grants do not conform to our standards.” He said similar grants were made outside the jurisdiction of MCDC.
The mayor said land was granted to 99 people, with two receiving more than 3 acres each, four getting 2 acres each, and 12 being granted one 1 each.
The mayor said the land in question had been earmarked for a public health project, an elementary school, a high school project and a new market building. Though the 13-clause grant contracts themselves contained no violation, a special investigation team should be set up to review the issue because land meant for public purposes was involved.
Following the hluttaw’s decision, Mandalay Region Chief Minister U Zaw Myint Maung told members, “The special investigation team will be established without delay. It will comprise regional hluttaw representatives and the advocate general. It will look into the disposition of the public land granted during the transitional period. If it is decided that the grants brought no public benefit, the grants will be abrogated and the land reclaimed.
“Land set aside for playgrounds, health centres, hospitals and clinics, and markets should not be granted to private individuals. If the special investigation team so finds after its inspection, the payments for the grants will be returned and the grants abrogated.”
It emerged during the hluttaw debate that the normal process of granting public land to private individuals took at least three to six months, during which time the process had to be advertised in the media. The grants approved during the transitional process took only one month to be completed.
– Translation by San Layy