Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama says politicians like SODELPA Leader Viliame Gavoka, MP Lynda Tabuya, and other bush lawyers and bunch of urban elite are causing fear amongst the iTaukei about the bill to amend the iTaukei Land Trust Act.
Bainimarama says the amendment to the iTaukei Land Trust Act is administrative in nature and does away with needless bureaucracy that too often holds up development on leased iTaukei land, like connecting water and electricity.
He asks where were these so called protectors of iTaukei rights when iTaukei land was converted to freehold land during the Rabuka and the late Qarase led governments.
Bainimarama says the fear of the ‘Kaidia’ is being used by this urban elite, and the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is being targeted as someone who is trying to cheat the iTaukei of their land and culture.
The Prime Minister says under the 2013 Fijian Constitution, iTaukei land will always remain iTaukei land and they have many other protections and benefits under the same constitution.
Bainimarama says there is so much lies about the AG and so much rubbish is being thrown at him.
According to the bill, Section 12 of the iTaukei Land Trust Act states that it is unlawful for a lessee under the Act to alienate or deal with the land comprised in the lease, whether by sale, transfer or sublease or in any other manner without the consent of the iTaukei Land Trust Board.
The iTaukei Land Trust (Budget Amendment) Bill 2021 seeks to amend the Act to remove the requirement of obtaining the consent of the iTaukei Land Trust Board for any mortgage, charge, pledge or caveat on a lease under the Act or for any such lease to be dealt with by any court of law or under the process of any court of law.
If passed by Parliament next week, the amending legislation will come into force on 1st August 2021.
The Act comes under the responsibility of the Minister responsible for iTaukei Affairs.
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