Tuesday, June 26, 2018

We have land that is uncultivated and we have people who want to cultivate

They don’t have land – Government's  role is to make both parties work together to utilize this land, for both to benefit from their respective inputs.

Going back to basics of Capitalism, land labor and capital, is the basic principle that is as old as human beings itself, and in Sri Lanka we have not been able to grasp this, so that it will benefit the owners of each. Seems odd doesn’t?

So I have land, but I don’t have clear title as it is a Swarnabhoomi property, that I am in possession of and am farming, and I can hold onto it as long as I am working on this property, but all I have to show is just one plant on 5 acres of land and say I am planting. However, physically I cannot farm, so I go and do another job to earn a living, say in Colombo, but leave my property empty and uncultivated, as I am afraid that I will lose it if I abandon it or give it to someone else to cultivate, so I don’t do anything. Million hectares of this, YES.

So I am effectively the owner, but my PROPERTY RIGHTS ARE NOT SECURE, so I cannot lend it (RENT IT) to someone else even for even Rs 1,000 a year to farm, as the tenant may claim he is farming and refuse to leave it, and leave me landless, losing that which my father left me!

He is the supplier of labor, but he has no land. He does not have the means (FINANCE) to buy land even though he is unemployed and has a knowledge of farming. I the bank will not lend him to buy the land, as it is a Swarnabhoomi Property that Banks don’t lend on, so I cannot utilize my skills productively.

This is what the Government MUST do as part of the current process of giving deeds to those living on state land. They must at the same time as handing out the deeds give a CLEAR LETTER WITH THE DEEDS, which forms a right, where I can rent my land, to someone else at a rent that I can agree with a tenant farmer, for a time period, which will be an enforceable contract in LAW. So if the agreement says for 5 years I can receive Rs50,000 a year as rent. Then at the end of the 5 years, I either RE-NOGOTIATE on different terms, or if I don’t, I get the land back AUTOMATICALLY as per the agreement and it is enforceable. The tenant has no rights when the contract ends and has to leave.

In this way the the banks looking at the lease can lend the owner based on the title for a business,  the tenant farmer can be lent money to work the land, to buy a tractor on the strength of an enforceable lease, and so the ECONOMY BENEFITS. None of this is presently possible. What must the Govt do? Give the present OWNER CLEAR TITLE THAT CANNOT BE TAKEN AWAY (property rights) and allow an enforceable contract to benefit both parties. Result economic activity that previously did not happen starts!!! HEY GDP UP!


Anonymous said...

you will be surprised the biggest culprits who love the present system are the lawyers. They make bogus deeds and fool the people in villages that it is genuine. They make so much money out of the ignorance of the rural people it is unconscionable

If there is a computer register of ownership, lawyers will not be able to fool everyone as anyone can go and check the ownership, and all changes in the register will require a state registrar to validate the sale in their presence where it is his job to ensure that the it is the rightful owner who is selling and not under duress.

The stories of lawyers writing lands to themselves is legendary. Their powers must be limited and their behavior exposed on social media, so the profession will be able to police itself at least and get rid of the vermin in their midst. It is bad for the good ones too, to have so many bad apples profiting from poor people's misery

Anonymous said...

How about the houses and flats and apartments? There is so many which are empty or which will not be rented to Sri Lankans because of these stupid tenancy laws that are so outdated.

The Government must intervene forcing the courts not to delay cases, where the owners are trying to get the tenants out who are paying peppercorn rents and refusing to budge.

The same system as proposed must allow legal home owners to sign an agreement that is binding and the tenant cannot go to the courts for stays, and they must leave if the agreement is not renewed, pure and simple. Why are the laws always favoring renters. There are few slum lords.

Just think of the fact that there will then be people building low cost housing units to house families for rent. that does not happen today due to the archaic laws. Houses are only used as boarding houses with multiple boarders, so this problem does not arise.

Why do have so many stupid people who make laws? They just need to make a simple law that immediately will release homes for people with jobs. Now a person who does not have a house in Colombo cannot get a job in Colombo as they will find it impossible to rent, and have to pay years in deposits, that is simply unacceptable.

No wonder there are no people to take the jobs available and there is little labor mobility because of it.

Its the laws stupid and the lawyers who have broken this Country to this level

Jack Point said...

Time to overhaul the land regulations.