Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama[ File Image]
The government continues to do all it can to safeguard the interests and welfare of landowners.
While speaking on the Ministry of Itaukei Affairs “Nai Lalakai” programme on Radio Fiji One, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says his administration has initiated positive changes, ensuring that landowners are rewarded for the use of their resources.
“Under past constitutions and past governments, iTaukei land was allowed to be converted and given away forever –– that can never happen again because we finally have a Fijian Constitution that makes that impossible. And that is a simple truth.”
He says landowners now enjoy an equal distribution of lease money with the government continuing to ensure more opportunities for them to earn from the land.
“In 2010, we created the Committee for Better Utilisation of Land (CBUL) to ensure the provision and renewal of agricultural leases, especially cane leases about to expire. More $87 million had been paid out under this programme for the iTaukei landowners and on behalf of those who have been fully utilising their agricultural leases.”
He says iTaukei land ownership has never been more secure and more useful to its owners than it is today.
In the recently announced 2022 Revised Budget, the government has allocated $3 million to develop iTaukei land for subdivision purposes for residential and agricultural leases.