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Land Bank System to Buy Farmland Proposed

Posted October. 07, 2008 03:22,   


The Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry yesterday proposed providing public land at affordable prices through a land bank system in an emergency management meeting chaired by Strategy and Finance Minister Kang Man-soo.

The government will propose legislation on reserving public land this month. If approved by the National Assembly, land purchases through the land bank system will start July next year after necessary preparations are made such as enacting an enforcement ordinance.

The proposed land bank will purchase sites for three purposes – public development, land market stabilization and state ownership.

Based on the conclusion that the government should purchase numerous patches of land fit for industrial complex or social overhead capital infrastructure development, the ministry said in a report, “The authority of a land bank to purchase farmland without restrictions like the government must be specified by law.”

The ministry said most farmland on the outskirts of urban areas is fit for development and therefore must be reserved for use by the government.

The plan calls for dramatic modification of legislation proposed by the Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry in August. The bill sought to limit the scope of land up for purchase by the land bank to greenbelts and centrally planned and managed areas to avoid violating the principle of securing land for farmers.

The Land Ministry included measures to allow it to seize farmland and hill areas in places where public development such as industrial complex construction has been confirmed after gaining government approval.

Worry over violation of property rights will be eased since the purchasing authority will take effect in areas already slated for public development.

The Land Ministry will also allow the land bank to reserve state-owned reclaimed property at sea in addition to farmland. Though operators in charge of reclamation have the preferential right to buy the land now, this privilege will be given to the land bank.

Comprehensive research will also be conducted on neglected state-owned land nationwide including abandoned islands, river basins and sites granted to U.S. forces over the next nine months. Seoul will come up with measures to reserve and manage state-owned land by creating a comprehensive map of spaces based on the study’s findings.