Yan­gon winds up in­dus­trial land re­view

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - ZAY YAR LINN za­yarlinn@mm­times.com – Trans­la­tion by Kyawt Darly Lin

The re­gional gov­ern­ment has fin­ished a re­view of land price spec­u­la­tion in the city’s 29 in­dus­trial zones, which ul­ti­mately aims to free up thou­sands of va­cant plots to be de­vel­oped into fac­to­ries.

THE Yan­gon Re­gion gov­ern­ment has fin­ished a re­view of land price spec­u­la­tion in the city’s 29 in­dus­trial zones, which ul­ti­mately aims to free up thou­sands of va­cant plots to be de­vel­oped into fac­to­ries.

Empty plots will be re­claimed by the gov­ern­ment, be­fore be­ing re-al­lo­cated to com­pa­nies that re­ally want to build in­dus­tries, said re­gional min­is­ter for elec­tric­ity, in­dus­try and in­fra­struc­ture Daw Ni­lar Kyaw.

Roughly 40 per­cent of land in Yan­gon’s 29 in­dus­trial parks is be­lieved to be held by speculators bet­ting that the value will con­tinue to rise, a prac­tice that has pushed land prices be­yond the reach of those who re­ally want to build fac­to­ries.

“Empty in­dus­trial plots have been checked,” said Daw Ni­lar Kyaw, de­clin­ing to con­firm state me­dia re­ports that some 1700 va­cant plots had been found. The min­is­ter said an an­nounce­ment would be made once the gov­ern­ment had taken a de­ci­sion.

In Novem­ber 2014, the for­mer gov­ern­ment compiled a list of land plots in 29 in­dus­trial zones and found that 2339 sites were va­cant, cov­er­ing 4418 acres (1767 hectares), while 1299 housed empty ware­houses but no in­dus­tries.

No ac­tion fol­lowed the 2014 re­view un­til May when teams from Yan­gon City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, the Direc­torate of Ur­ban and Hous­ing De­vel­op­ment, the In­dus­trial Zone Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee, the Direc­torate of Town­ship Ad­min­is­tra­tion and the Direc­torate of In­dus­trial Su­per­vi­sion and In­spec­tion set out to re-in­spect the land.

The plots were sold on con­di­tion that fac­to­ries or ware­houses must be built there within two years, or the land would be re­pos­sessed. How­ever, in many cases, land has been left va­cant for up to 20 years.

Spokes­peo­ple for in­dus­trial zone man­age­ment com­mit­tees con­firmed said they had not yet re­ceived in­struc­tions on what to do about the empty plots.

U Aye Thaung, chair of the Shwe Lin Pan In­dus­trial Zone Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee, said, “We’ve checked and listed ev­ery in­dus­trial zone and had talks with the own­ers of empty plots. It’s up to the re­gional gov­ern­ment now,” he said, adding that some own­ers had been un­re­spon­sive.

Min­galar­don town­ship Pyithu Hlut­taw MP U Aung Hlaing Win said, “I think the re­gional gov­ern­ment is right to act in the case of land where no con­struc­tion work has taken place. If the land is not re­pos­sessed, at least the own­ers should have to pay higher taxes.

“There are many in­dus­trial zones in my town­ship with a lot of empty plots in them. I look for­ward to see­ing the re­gional gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion,” he said.

The pol­icy of sell­ing land for in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment pur­poses goes back to 1992. In 2012, re­spon­si­bil­ity for in­dus­trial zones was trans­ferred to the Yan­gon Re­gion gov­ern­ment.

Photo: EPA

A girl works in a gar­ment fac­tory in Yan­gon’s Hlaing Thar­yar In­dus­trial Zone.

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