Approximately 160 people received ground papers at the district commissioner’s office in Nieuw Nickerie. President Chandrikapersad Santokhi, who handed over some documents, emphasized security because of having a plot. In June of this year, the head of state had installed the Nickerie Ground Affairs working group to deal with land issues in Nickerie. Sieuw Ramsukul was placed in charge of this working group.
On Friday, the working group discussed a number of bottlenecks in the area of land allocation with the head of state. According to Ramsukul, there are still many obstacles such as double dispensing and long waiting times. Ramsukul said that the key is that the community should not wait too long for land papers. He supports the fact that land is one of the principles of security. Discussions with President Santokhi included how long waiting times can be shortened.
At the ceremony, President Santokhi said that the government will invest in order to create more purchasing power and enlightenment in society. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have been asked to adjust the recovery program or to make more money available for tackling poverty. Next month, the land version law will be passed, allowing people to convert their land into ownership and not to fear that it will be taken away. The head of state and the parliament has also approved the Seal Act, which makes the costs of transferring land to family or children cheaper. The government will encourage self-construction and attract cheap capital to do so. Discussions are underway with banks, hopefully this project will start next year.
The 158 land papers that have been issued mainly concern land spots due to the housing shortage. He noted that partly because of the online registration, the issuance of land papers is accelerating. The intention is to issue 500 decisions and/or declarations of readiness in Nickerie before the end of December. According to Ramsukul, it has already been identified where there are free plots.