LAND REFORM IS COMING TO AN END
Latest statistical data show that land reform work is rapidly coming to an end. Ownership rights in rural areas have been restored to 99,7 per cent of claimants, in city areas – 88,4 per cent, and personal agricultural land legalization reach 98 per cent.
Following recent investigation, land reform has been most successful in rural areas, whereas certain urban areas are still manifesting relatively slow. According to citizens' requests for the land area, ownership rights have been restored to more than 99 per cent in almost all Lithuania’s rural areas. Only in the rural areas connected to Vilnius municipality and Vilnius district the ownership rights have been restored to 96-99 per cent of citizens.
100 percent of ownership rights have been reclaimed and finished in 33 from 103 Lithuanian cities and towns. Less than 90 per cent ownership rights have been restored in 14 cities.
As of October the 1, 2015 the poorest situation was in Trakai (only 38,4 per cent of ownership rights of citizen’s requests for land have been restored), in Pabrade (47,3 per cent), Baltoji Voke (48,8 per cent), Vilnius (49 per cent) and Ramygala (67,7 per cent) cities.
“More than 90 percent of ownership rights have been restored in the majority of Lithuania’s cities. However, lately, as the land reform is coming to an end, we have come across some people’s passivity and inaction”. Daiva Gineikaite, Director of the National Land Service is of the opinion that citizens waiting in queue for the restitution of ownership rights tend to decline the proposed sites and wait until municipalities form more attractive sites, in better locations than the proposed ones.
Over the years, the biggest progress, the biggest breakthrough in restoring property rights in urban areas, has been committed in Priekule town (starting from 7,5 per cent on October 1, 2015 up to 91,7 per cent on October 1, 2015), (from 22,5 per cent to 100 per cent) in Pagegiai, (from 51,3 per cent until 70,3 per cent) in Salcininkai and (from 80,1 per cent up to 98,4 per cent) in Gargzdai.
Privatized land and leased to private arable land cover 97,97 percent of total area used for personal farming in Lithuania. Private agricultural land is completely legalized in Kaunas, Klaipeda, Palanga, Marijampole, Kazlu Ruda and Kalvarija.
“Aiming at legalizing the land in use, that is to sign purchase and sales contracts or land lease contracts with citizens, our specialists face a strange problem: some of citizens are reluctant to legalize personal use of the land as they are unwilling to lose some benefits or privileges and acquire the property”, – believes Daiva Gineikaite.