Land transfer fees under review

The Minister of Environment has pledged to the Parliament that the revised land transfer fees will be introduced in December 2020.

Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya made the disclosure on Tuesday, October 6, during the plenary sitting of the Chamber of Deputies.

 

The Minister was responding to environment and land-related issues that Members of Parliament (MPs) identified during their countrywide tour.

 

The issues include a flat fee of Rwf30,000 that was imposed on the transfer of land regardless of the land size and value; and rainwater runoffs from mountains, especially torrents from volcanoes that cause property and infrastructure destructions in parts of the Northern Province.

 

On the problem of land transfer fee, the Lower House argued that the current charges were unfair, especially given that land in rural areas is sold at a cheaper price than the one in urban centres.

The MPs want the fees to be set based on the size and value of land.

“It would be better if the deadline for addressing this issue is set,” said MP Barthélemy Karinijabo.

Mujawamariya told lawmakers that the fee was based on the services associated with changes in land ownership, pointing out that the requirements for such service were the same regardless of the size of land.

However, she said, the government is reviewing the land transfer charges.

“They are expected to be approved after consultations with all concerned parties such that they can ease the burden for all the people who seek land transfer service all over the country,” the Minister said.

In addition, the government is also in the process of setting up a land registry aimed at digitising land titles.

“That will save the cost of printed land title which is Rwf5,000,” the minister disclosed, adding that the technology will be piloted in Gasabo District in December 2020.

MP Christine Mukabunani said that residents were being exploited through high charges on land sale and transfer.

“We think the government should take the responsibility for land transfer service to residents instead of imposing fees to such extent,” she said.

entirenganya@newtimesrwanda.com

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