Land premiums now an issue: Vasu

May 23, 2024 7:25 am

Minister for iTaukei Affairs, Ifereimi Vasu, has acknowledged the numerous concerns surrounding the issue of land premiums.

The Minister says they have formed a committee dedicated to reviewing the premium calculations and initiating discussions with the iTaukei Land Trust Board to address the worries of land lessees.

In addition, a specific issue where a new premium is being demanded, despite the government already paying a premium for a development lease, has also been highlighted.

Article continues after advertisement

Vasu says the committee is working towards addressing the concerns.

“I just want to inform this house, there’s a lot of concern in regards to premium. We have now formed a committee just to have a look at how the premium has been worked out, and we’ll have discussions with TLTB to address the concerns of those who are leasing the land.”

Opposition Member of Parliament Alvick Maharaj claims that the government has already paid the premium, but TLTB is demanding payment again.

“The government actually paid the premium, Honorable Speaker, through the Ministry of Local Government. Like a typical example would be Vunivau, whereby more than $1 million was paid to the Mataqali owners to acquire development lease. Everything is now done, it was just supposed to be distributed with the lease, but now TLTB is stepping in again to tell them to pay another premium.”

The Minister responded that he would have to look into this issue.

“In regards to the questions regarding the one that’s already paid the premium by the local government, I will be willing to discuss it with the TLTB, and I might have to come back to you.”

Vasu adds further discussions will be conducted with the iTaukei Land Trust Board.