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The Far East hectare goes to the second circle

The Federation Council will review the newly adopted law on the "Far Eastern hectare"

Federal Law No. 119-FZ "On the peculiarities of granting land to citizens by state or municipal property and located in the territories of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation that are part of the Far Eastern Federal District, and on amending certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation" signed by President Vladimir Putin 2 May 2016. The signature of the head of state completed an almost one-and-a-half-year-long epopee with the development of the law, finally, presenting the final form of the implementation of the sensational initiative on the mass involvement of Far Eastern land in circulation.

The Far East hectare goes to the second circle

During the development, discussion and adoption of the law, the document has significantly increased in volume, many norms, as the developers admit, have been redrawn many times. All this time, quite heated discussions were conducted around the law - is it necessary or not, will they take it or not, are abuses possible, and if so, which ones? In some cases, as, for example, in Yakutia, it came to open protests of citizens, including pickets in forty-degree frost. As shown by a fresh survey of EastRussia experts - discussions continue, the law "is so innovative that so far no one has really fully realized it and has not predicted the result." Moreover, the statement of the Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, Made by 18 May, says that the adopted document was not really understood by the legislators themselves: according to her, the senators will analyze the law on the "Far Eastern hectare" adopted earlier and, if necessary, will develop amendments to it.

"A working group has been set up in the Federation Council under the leadership of Vice Speaker Galina Karelova, and we expect that by the end of June she will offer her proposals on the law," Valentina Matvienko quoted RIA Novosti as saying. Matvienko also discussed the law on "Far Eastern hectare" with Deputy Prime Minister, Presidential Envoy to the Far East Yury Trutnev and Head of Minsk Vostok Alexander Galushka. "They admitted that they failed to explain qualitatively all the provisions of the law," she said.

The correspondent of EastRussia in his conversation with the experts tried to understand what factors will primarily influence the success of the new initiative. So, on the whole success experts connect with the fact whether it will be possible to launch the processes of agricultural development of the given out plots. "Obviously, only agriculture will make it possible to involve the sites in a mass order," the EastRussia source shared. "Although the law formally represents a very wide range of uses of land, it is the dynamics of agricultural initiatives that determine the overall result."

“The territory of the Far East can be very selectively judged as suitable for farming. Since its lands for the most part do not go to any comparison, for example, with those possessed by the middle zone of Russia. 

According to the UN methodology, only 25% of the territory of the Far Eastern Federal District today is directly suitable for human life, and not for agriculture. 

Moreover, most of this territory is located in a rather narrow region of the south of the Far East - in the zone of the Trans-Siberian Railway. In such regions as the Amur and Jewish Autonomous Regions, Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories, "the Director General of ZAO" International Center for the Development of Regions "told EastRussia Igor Melamed.

“Plots that are suitable for farming are land that has basic infrastructure - electricity and roads suitable for it. If we talk about the possibility of arranging land plots, for this they should already have a social infrastructure in a certain amount - for example, the same water supply and sewage treatment plants, ”explained Igor Melamed.

"Along with the infrastructure, no less important for agriculture is a factor such as natural conditions. Which even in the southern regions of the Far East vary greatly in the territory of their municipal formations. They are relatively good for farming only in those of the municipal districts in the south of the Far East, which are located south of the Trans-Siberian Railway. And even their ideal can not be called. In particular, due to ubiquitous low winter temperatures and often a rather complex relief, including areas with permafrost, "said Igor Melamed.

According to the expert, among the "pilot" municipal districts, in which the distribution of hectares starts already from 1 June, the most attractive are Khankai district of Primorsky Krai, Oktyabrsky district of EAO, Arkharinsky district of the Amur region.  

"If we talk about the law itself, now it is difficult to judge what is its main weak point, what are its flaws, and what exactly are the points in it that are not worked out. It will become clear only about the passage of time and, mainly, on the response that its implementation will bring to the inhabitants of the Far East. The only thing that can now be confirmed with certainty is that effective development of land plots is possible only if their owners from the very beginning of the year join in groups for collective processing of land - an area of ​​the order of 200-300 hectares. Since then, in particular, the process of development of its infrastructure, including engineering, will become much easier, "Igor Melamed concluded.

A number of other experts, while in solidarity with Igor Melamed, also note that many problems will occur directly in the system of distribution of land plots in the Far East.

"If we take in aggregate all those pilot municipal districts that are allocated for the allocation of land in the Far East in the first phase of the law, they represent a fairly large area. Another thing is that not all of this territory can be developed for agricultural purposes. In particular, due to insufficiently developed infrastructure, "said the director of the Institute for Regional Studies and Urban Planning of the National Research University" Higher School of Economics " Irina Ilyina.

“In conditions of underdeveloped infrastructure everywhere in the Far East, only the southern subjects of this macro-region are characterized by its relatively normal density. At the same time, as in other Far Eastern regions, in these regions the infrastructure is sufficiently developed only where the population is concentrated in sufficient numbers, as well as in the areas near highways. Accordingly, it is here that land plots will be in greatest demand among citizens. But, given the fact that, within the framework of the implementation of the law, land plots are supposed to be provided at a sufficient distance from settlements, in most cases they will have an underdeveloped infrastructure. And those that are sufficiently provided for her will be dismantled very quickly, ”explained Irina Ilyina.

In her opinion, the main drawback of the draft law is that it involves the allocation of only one hectare of land to a person - a very small area for development on it, in the natural conditions of the Far East, of commercial-oriented production. And, at the same time, excessively large for the conduct of personal subsidiary farming. 

The only way out in this situation will be to unite citizens in order to form a relatively large land plot.

Another serious shortcoming of the law, according to her opinion, is that it grants the regional authorities great powers and allows for numerous changes through the submission of applications on behalf of citizens. In particular, the law allows the regional authorities to change the functional or special purpose of the site. These two possibilities, envisaged by law, make it possible to carry out various manipulations by regional authorities.

“If these shortcomings in the law are not eliminated, then its effectiveness will be presented only as very doubtful,” added Irina Ilyina.

She also noticed that very many moments of the process of allocating land plots are still unclear. For example, how will it take into account the different degree of attractiveness of land plots, and, accordingly, the cadastral value. And also, how all the necessary procedures will be observed in the allocation of land and its absolute transparency will be ensured.

“Until practical allocation of land plots begins in the Far East, it is necessary to conduct several studies. At first, assess the extent to which land, including the infrastructure, of those municipal districts in which land plots will be allocated, develop, develop one or another kind of agriculture. Then - determine the whole range of possible uses of this land. After that, develop a mechanism that will ensure maximum transparency of the procedure for allocating land plots themselves, ”concluded Irina Ilyina.

At the same time, many experts draw attention to the fact that in the municipal districts of the Far Eastern regions allocated for the allocation of land plots, by now a large amount of land is in fact used.

“It is wrong to judge the suitability of land for agriculture only by the presence in them of a particular infrastructure. The plot should be assessed in terms of how good its conditions are in general for the development of agriculture in it. And only in particular - a developed infrastructure consisting of a large-scale road network and other numerous facilities ensuring the full development of agriculture, including consulting and supply points, as well as all the necessary facilities required for the functioning of the social sphere. In the case of the Far East, given the local climatic conditions, its good infrastructure is, in many respects, a significant number of objects of land reclamation systems, ”said the associate professor at the Department of Economic and Social Geography of Russia at Moscow State University. Mv Lomonosov Alexander Danshin.

“The most other for agricultural purposes in the Far East are the Amur and Jewish Autonomous Regions, as well as the southern parts of the Khabarovsk and Primorye Territories. But, being favorable for farming, the lands of these territories are, of course, already for the most part used, ”said Alexander Danshin.

He also added that few people today will be interested in the possibility of obtaining only one hectare of land in the Far East. Since a land plot of this size for the implementation of a particular initiative from the field of agriculture is extremely small and is suitable except for the personal arrangement of a person on it. Successful implementation of such initiatives is possible only if citizens start using the option of collective applications. Then it is very likely that many families with many children will go to the Far East.

"When considering the possibility of obtaining a free hectare in the Far East, Russians are more or less aware that by acquiring a land plot, they, together with this, acquire a huge amount of work. And only some of them, who realize this fully, will go for a hectare to the Far Eastern regions, "added Alexander Danshin.

The implementation of the law was discussed at a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev and the head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, Alexander Galushka, on 4 May. The Minister informed the President that, according to the adopted law, for 20 or more citizens whose sites are located nearby and are at a distance of no more than 20 kilometers from the settlement, regional and municipal authorities will assist in the development of the territory, including for the creation of communal facilities, transport and social infrastructure. How many really similar free areas will be in the system, and what the real potential of their use is, neither the federal nor the regional authorities are ready to say yet. However, we are confident that the corresponding supply will be in the system in sufficient quantity to meet the demand of citizens.



EastRussia Help

The implementation of the law will be carried out in stages. Since 1 June 2016, the land will be available on the territory of the "pilot" municipal entities of each entity located in the Far Eastern Federal District, and only residents of the respective regions will be able to do this. From 1 October 2016, the plots will be provided throughout the Far Eastern regions, but only for residents of these RF subjects. And with 1 February 2017, the "Far Eastern hectare" will be available to all citizens of the country.

The following municipalities are the pilot municipalities designated for the allocation of land plots: Khankai district (Primorsky krai), Amursky (Khabarovsk region), Oktyabrsky (Jewish autonomous region), Arkharinsky (Amur region), Neryungri district (Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) District (Magadan Region), Ust-Bolsheretsky (Kamchatka Territory), Tymovsky (Sakhalin Region), Anadyrsky (Chukotsky Autonomous District).

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