NFP against amendments to iTaukei Land Trust Act
July 24, 2021 3:53 pm
National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad
National Federation Party has declined to comment to FBC News on its stand against Bill 17.
In a statement on its Facebook page, Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad says changes to the iTaukei Land Trust Act go much wider than mortgages.
However, he fails to elaborate further.
Under Bill 17, the government proposes to remove the requirement for consent from the iTaukei Land Trust Board for any mortgage, charge, pledge, caveat or any such lease to be dealt with by any court of law.
It goes on to say that this provision will not apply where lease conditions have been breached or where any such application is not in accordance with any law.
The NFP has not explained which section of the Bill it opposes but states that it has always recognized that matters concerning iTaukei land are matters for the iTaukei.
Despite contesting the last two elections under the 2013 Constitution, Prasad claims Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum imposed the 2013 Constitution on Fiji and took away special rules about changing laws relating to iTaukei land.
However, the Prime Minister has already said that iTaukei land remains protected under the Constitution and that these changes are simple administrative – to increase the value of iTaukei land.
“It’s funny because these Opposition members and their supporters, mostly the elite – don’t even seem to understand the Constitution. Section 28, 29 and 30 of the Fijian Constitution talks about ownership and the protection of iTaukei land. They don’t seem to understand that. For the number of lawyers that they have and the number of lawyers that support them, I can’t seem to understand”.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama
Bainimarama has also said the Bill will be thoroughly debated in parliament next week and there is no need to create controversy around it.