Macau’s land valuation rules to be revamped

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According to the South China Morning Post, the Macau government will revamp its land valuation criteria, based on a public consultation to be launched in June or July, according to new secretary for transport and public works, Lau Si-io.

Mr Lau – who replaced disgraced former minister Ao Man-long, who is facing corruption charges – also told the legislature yesterday that Beijing had not approved a controversial reclamation scheme submitted last year. “We are reviewing the formulas for calculating land premiums to better reflect the true value of land and properties,” he said. “A public consultation will be launched in June or July.”

It has become a controversial issue to reform the city’s opaque land zoning system. Many Labour Day protesters demanded an end to “land giveaways,” expressing concern over developers getting land at prices well below market value.

Mr Lau said the government would broaden the Land Committee’s membership by including professionals from the cultural sector. The committee, responsible for land policies, is dominated by transport and public works officials.

To enhance transparency, the government also was preparing a large database of land information, Mr Lau said. The database would allow public access to ownership information of the city\’s land that has been sold or developed.

While Macau acts under a different set of laws than the mainland, it will be interesting to see what kind of effect this continuing story has, if any, on the push in the mainland towards greater transparency in property rights cases.

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