Far East land giveaway gains ground with business guide on using plots effectively
“These will be business plans of a sort that describe how new owners can make proper use of the land. It is important that a potential owner could see how the plot is used by other people, what can be done on a particular land plot and how promising the various types of economic activity are,” the head of the ministry, Aleksandr Galushka, said in an interview with Izvestia daily.
He also said the ministry planned to draft several amendments to the law on the free handover of land that would specify several points in the procedure, give additional powers in allocating the plots to regional authorities, and introduce the procedure of taking back the land from owners who lose their Russian citizenship. “Exclusively Russian citizens must make use of our land,” Galushka told reporters.
The bill allowing the free handover of 1-hectare (about 2.5 acres) land plots to Russian citizens who agree to resettle in the Far Eastern Federal District to start a farm or other business came into force from June 1.
Galushka added that the agreement could be signed for five years, and then it should either enter full force if the new landlord follows the plan, or be declared void if the land is not used. Foreigners can also receive the land plots and use them, but can only receive full property rights after receiving Russian citizenship.
The sponsors of the bill have said that their main objective is to attract more people to the Russian Far East, to slow or stop the outward migration of locals, and to boost the socio-economic development of the territory.
In May this year President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ordering that the regional authorities should provide minimal infrastructure to clusters of 20 or more free land plots, by the landlords’ request.
According to the government website that collects the applications for receiving free land, the government has already handed out 101 plots and approved 77 applications, but the documents are in development and 143 more applications are awaiting approval.
The Far East Federal District is a huge territory, uniting nine federal regions with a total area of over 6 million square kilometers. Included in the Far East are the gold-rich Magadan Region and the diamond-mining Sakha-Yakutiya Republic, as well as important seaports and salmon-rich rivers. The district borders China by land, and Japan and Alaska lie across the sea.