Tue | May 22, 2018

LETTER OF THE DAY - Cut the red tape on land transfers

Published:Tuesday | December 18, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:The Administrator General's Department and the National Land Agency (NLA) definitely need to eliminate the bureaucracy in the transfer and titling of lands passed on to family members, or sold to new owners. Steps are needed to expedite the legitimate transfer of titles to properties. Consideration should also be given to waiving the penalties assessed for the years of tardiness in applying for and obtaining a proper title.

The current state of ineptitude needs to be buried.

The Government should make adequate and affordable legal assistance readily available to all.

The Administrator General's Department and the NLA should be provided with the necessary staffing and technological infrastructure to update the tracking of every parcel of land in Jamaica, and in so doing get every parcel on the tax roll for revenue collection.

Full land ownership is likely to encourage food production and proper housing. Tenants or squatters risk displacement, and, of course, will be reluctant to utilise the full potential of their current occupied holding. Landowners are reluctant to allow any seemingly permanent structure or farming activities on their properties; therefore, it is vital to identify vacant lands, and their owners to negotiate and embark on an equitable land-redistribution exercise.

This effort would empower citizens not only to improve their communities, but to sustain their holdings and hopefully, give them a renewed sense of pride.

Cease and desist from building housing on arable, flat lands suitable for agricultural production. An example is parts of the Bernard Lodge Estates that were drawn in the Portmore, South St Catherine, sprawl. These flatland housing developments may be less expensive to develop, but are prone to flooding and other inconveniences.