Budget 2016-2017: National Development Strategy for sustained land use and management
A total of Rs 28.5 million has been earmarked in the budget allocated to the Ministry of Housing and Lands for the review of the National Development Strategy. This will not only pave the way for new directions for land development planning consistent with sustainability principles, but also provide strategic guidance for the future land use strategy.
The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Lands, Mr Showkutally Soodhun, made this statement on 9 August 2016 at the National Assembly during the debates on the 2016-2017 Budget. “The review of the National Development Strategy, which is expected to start early next year, will consist of a review of policies and land management practices of the different stakeholders,” he said.
The revised National Development Strategy will identify key infrastructure projects; translate Government’s commitment to achieve the full potential of selected strategic sites in the country up to 2040; and formulate spatial policies for economic development, agricultural land protection and social facilities as well as conservation with a view to be sustainable and resilient.
According to the Vice-Prime Minister the review exercise is part of the Ministry’s endeavour to increase efficiency in service delivery in the land and development planning sector. Efforts will focus on two fronts namely an efficient land planning system for effective management, use and release of land for development, and the modernisation of digital land information, cartographic services and surveying in a transparent and equitable manner for operational excellence.
In that context the planning legislation is being reviewed and is due to be completed early next year. The aim is to consolidate, under one main legislation, the existing Town and Country Planning Act 1954, the Planning and Development Act 2004, the Morcellement Act 1990 as amended, and scattered legislations related to planning. A National Planning Commission will replace the Town and Country Planning Board.
“Once the National Land Development Strategy and planning legislation assignments are completed my Ministry will embark on the review of the existing planning schemes to provide an updated spatial framework for development purposes, in line with the policies and strategies of the new National Development Strategy,” Mr Soodhun added.