Lupari: Return land


CHIEF Secretary Isaac Lupari has ordered the return of a piece of land allocated for a housing scheme for public servants given to a foreign company by the Lands Department.
Lupari said he reprimanded Luther Sipison, the acting Lands Department secretary, after receiving complaints that officers had given a Chinese businessman the land title at Duran Farm in Port Moresby.
“Some Lands officers gave the title to a Chinese man. Can you believe it?” he said.
“I called up the Lands secretary and told him to cancel that title or he will be sacked. I don’t care who did it. Go and reverse the title and give it back to the rightful owner (National Housing Corporation). What are you guys doing?”
As reported recently by The National, the housing project is seeking a further K7 million from the Government after exhausting the K11 million it was allocated initially. But the Government says it is unable to find that money right now as it is undergoing cost-cutting measures.
Lupari said the Government would establish a Property Land Trust with him as its chairman.
“We will manage all the undeveloped land leases (UDL). Nobody will just get titles on UDL without our approval,” he said.
“The Government will determine which UDL is for commercial (purposes) and for housing.
“At the moment, they (Lands officers) are signing all the UDLs and it seems foreigners are getting most of them and not the local people.”
He said the Lands Department “discriminate locals and go for foreigners”.
“It is a beauty contest at the Lands Department. They will not see the ugly ones (locals) but they will want to see the pretty faces (foreigners),” he said.
“The Lands department better get their priorities right. One land they are giving two titles to it. That’s why the Government has made the decision to get all the UDLs.”

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