New regulations are imposed on the sale of agricultural land to foreigners
On May 29, the state legislature registered an initiative by 21 Members of the Parliament on the amendments to the law on agricultural land and accompanying package of laws. The aim of the draft law is to regulate the issue related to the sale of agricultural land to foreigners and persons without citizenship of Georgia.
The issue of agricultural land has been actively discussed at the state constitutional commission. According to Article 19 (4) of the initiated project of the constitution “organic law regulates the right to ownership over land, which is recognized as a vital resource”. This provision, as stated by the initiators, assigns land a status of a vital resource and demands for organic law to regulate on the right of ownership of land.
In overall, the decision to draft a unified state policy towards the ownership of agricultural land can be assessed as positive. The imposition of special regulations on agricultural land is a well-known practice in foreign countries as well. The special regulations usually relate to the rational use of land as well as issue of state security, such as the sale of land near state borders. It is important for the restriction of right of ownership of land to serve legitimate purposes, as well as avoiding the creation of artificial barrier and damaging the prospects for the economic development of the country. In order to avoid instances of corruption, it is also important for the law to include effective enforcement mechanisms, as well as clear regulations on restrictions and decisions.
* This blog was prepared with the financial support of the USAID Good Governance Initiative in Georgia (GGI), under the project “Enhancing Transparency and Accountability of the Parliament”. TI Georgia is responsible for the content of the blog. The views expressed in the report do not necessarily reflect the views of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Good Governance Initiative (GGI) in Georgia or the Government of the United States.