Cabinet has approved the tabling of the State Lands (Amendment) Bill 2023 in Parliament.
The Bill proposes to remove amendments made to the State Lands Act 1945 by the State Lands (Budget Amendment) Act 2021 (Act No. of 21 of 2021) and the State Lands (Amendment) Act 2022.
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka in a statement said the Bill proposes to reinstate the authority of the Director of Lands as provided for initially under the State Lands Act 1945.
He said amendments made by Act 21 of 2021 reduced the authority of the Director by allowing lessees to go directly to banks and lending institutions without obtaining consent from the Director to use a lease as security for borrowing.
In addition, the revenue generated from application fee for consent required by the Director decreased drastically.
Rabuka amendments made by Act No. 26 of 2022 also undermined the authority of the Director to decide on State lands and its effective administration.
The Bill has been amended following extensive consultations with stakeholders.