Experts consider transition to territorial zoning untimely

15 october 2014

Roundtable “Consequences and risks of transition from division of land into categories to territorial zoning for agricultural production” took place at the Analytical Center.

The initiative of the transition from division of land into categories to territorial zoning has been discussed for several years. The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation asserted to make the transition from division of land into categories to territorial zoning acts back in 2009, but the issue is complex and stays under discussion.  On October 14 the Analytical Center held the discussion and the experts analyzed the demand of such changes in the agribusiness of Russia and assessed possible positive and negative consequences of the passage of the law for the agro-industrial complex.

Head of the Office for Land Policy, Property Relations and State Property of the Ministry of Agriculture Victoria Abramchenko gave an explanation to the Ministry’s concept. “The main issue for us is to find the way to avoid the loss of territories which are good for agriculture”, - Ms. Abramchenko said. – “What is the way to avoid the extractive disposal of the lands under the construction of industrial, residential, infrastructural facilities”.  The Ministry of Agriculture has made some comments on the draft law, but they are not included in the text, the expert said. Moreover, the law enactment is “untimely and incongruous with the aims of economy development of the country”, considers the Council of the Federation.

The President of the Russian Grain Union Arkady Zlochevsky sees no expedience in this law enactment, although he admits the categories should be abandoned as they interfere with the unification of land resources prices. These categories are unique and exist only in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, he added. “The land resources market has many various obstacles beyond the division into categories”, - said Mr. Zlochevsky. – “The foremost one is the legal inchoation. 17% of the lands are not used as there is no proprietor.”

All participants of the roundtable mentioned that the cadaster does not include exact boundaries of the lands and right holders’ names. The law cannot be enacted before the moment when the problem is solved. Also, the initiative on the reform of lands, which are good for agriculture, should be passed to the Ministry of Agriculture, the experts consider.