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iTaukei Land Safe, Says PM

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iTaukei Land Safe, Says PM Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with a resident during the consultation at the Sai Centre in Sigatoka on February 14, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Do not feel insecure or threatened because your rights are protected under the Constitution.

This is the assurance Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama made to iTaukei landowners during his visit in Sigatoka and Nadi yesterday.

The iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) issued 2100 new leases of different categories to tenants, the Prime Minister said.

Mr Bainimarama said the TLTB had distributed $73million to traditional landowners representing revenue from a portfolio of 40,000 leaseholders.

Under the Government’s equal rent distribution policy put into effect from late 2015, a total of 38,600 iTaukei landowners under the age of 18 years had $33.6 million saved in their individual savings accounts, the Prime Minister said.

The interest of iTaukei from different areas of stakeholders continued to rise which was a positive sign of confidence, he said.

To make iTaukei land more attractive and enhance confidence, he said the board had issued longer commercial agricultural leases.

“There is a need to strike a balance between accessibility to land with the future needs of iTaukei landowners,’’ Mr Bainimarama said.

“This is undertaken by TLTB through the reservation of land process where the TLTB can set aside a portion of their various holdings as a reserve for their future generations and not to be leased out.”

In 2017, he said the board had set aside 2106 hectares of land to 13 landowning units that applied through this process.

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