Yangon winds up industrial land review
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.
A girl works in a garment factory in Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone.