The Irrawaddy

Mandalay Govt to Confiscate Plots Granted by Prior Administration

The watchtower in downtown Mandalay.

MANDALAY — The Mandalay regional government will take back control of 135 plots of land that were granted or leased by the previous government during last year’s power transfer and believed to have violated procedures.

Mandalay Region Chief Minister Zaw Myint Maung announced the plan in response to a report reviewing the division government’s land grants during the power transfer. The review was carried out by Mandalay government officials and lawmakers and submitted to Parliament on Tuesday.

“We should terminate the contracts that were awarded in violation of leasing procedures, national land use policy, and laws and regulations, and take the plots back,” the chief minister said.

Parliament gave the regional government the green light to proceed.

“We found that up to 20 grants were issued in a single day, as well as other suspicious things involving leasing procedures. So there are reasons to believe that there was some dishonesty,” Mandalay Division Planning and Finance Minister U Myat Thu, who led the investigation, told The Irrawaddy.

The government will confiscate the plots and pay the owners back what they paid the previous government in rent. Most of the plots are in Pyi Gyi Tagun, Chanmyathazi and Maha Aungmyay townships.

“Some paid the right price for rent, but some paid much less. We are still calculating the market price of the plots now,” said U Myat Thu.

U Zaw Myint Maung said his government would also take action against department staff who were involved in the deals. He said the confiscated plots would be used for public projects.

In June last year, lawmaker U Myint Aung Moe, of Chanmyathazi Township, submitted a proposal to the regional Parliament suggesting a review of unused plots granted by the previous government during the power transfer. Parliament formed a team to investigate.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.