Moratorium on Latest Land Code Changes May be Extended to Dec. 31, 2021

ASTANA – The land reform commission has proposed extending the moratorium on amendments to the land code for five years. The proposal has been sent to Parliament for consideration.

“By announcing the moratorium on the sale of agricultural lands to private ownership and on their lease to foreigners, the Land Code of 2003 will come into force again. It should be noted that according to this law, a provision of land for rent lasts up to 49 years. Secondly, in the course of the commission we came to the conclusion that the existing mechanism and procedure for the provision of agricultural land for rent have to be improved and refined. The commission has developed its proposals in this regard,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Askar Myrzakhmetov.

The commission has also proposed strengthening control over the rational use of land by introducing a continuous monitoring (annually for the first five years of the lease, every three years during subsequent periods on irrigated arable land and every five years on rain-fed land).

Commission members recommended providing a separate and detailed regulation in the land code of the procedure for granting agricultural land. They also proposed including representatives of community councils and associations in a tender commission on the land provision. Moreover, the suggestion includes determining the term of the lease, depending on the volume of investments, in accordance with the business plan.

The commission offered to develop and approve a model agreement with the refinement and increased obligations of land users and their responsibilities and to strengthen requirements for the rational use of agricultural lands.

One of the most debated topics among the people in Kazakhstan is limiting the size of rented land. In this regard, the commission proposed setting a maximum size of agricultural land for leasing.

Tightening requirements for the provision of agricultural land in the border areas is among the proposals that will be sent to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Four meetings in the capital and four meetings with the population of Akmola, Almaty, Atyrau and Kyzylorda regions have been held since the commission was formed in May. It was created to help explain the land code to the population, work on reaching a common understanding of its priorities and calm public sentiment over land code changes that sparked sporadic rallies in April and May.

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