One gets more allowance, One gets assets frozen
Who calls the shots? Nobles or Businessmen?
Pakistan and oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Nigeria may matter to the US Government but how much do Americans know about such places with different ways of doing things? Westerners are blind to land rent and believe business wields the most power. Herein we trim, blend, and append three 2010 articles from: (1) the national Daily Times of Pakistan, Apr 27, on police and privilege; (2) The Saudi Gazette, Apr 29 on Jeddah’s penalty by Adnan Al-Shabarawi; and (3) Vanguard, May 3, on Nigeria.
by Daily Times, by Adnan Al-Shabarawi, and by Vanguard
Pakistani Senate panel reviews police and privilege
To combat rising crime, a Pakistani Senate Committee reviewed the total strength of police and constabulary plus the allowances, privileges, and incentives of former rulers of princely states, including those which acceded and merged into Pakistan.
In the regular system, when an incident was registered, which was later submitted to a court, the parties would have to wait for years for the disposal of case. In certain areas in the recent past, involving the local tribes resulted in timely disposal of cases and issues. But now about 70 per cent of the total guards of tribal chieftains were considered involved in criminal activities.
There was no pension in the police force. A proposal was submitted that it should be made part of the law that personnel should avail pension or service of his son in the force after his retirement.
The Law Ministry was mulling over the recommendation that allowances being given to the former rulers of princely states should be enhanced by 200 per cent. He said if the ministry submitted it to the National Assembly and the Senate, then after its approval from the two houses, it would be passed into a law.
The states of Balochistan, including Kalat, Kharan, Makran and Lasbella, merged into Pakistan in 1954-55. The allowances, incentives, and privileges being given to the former rulers or their dependents, including that of Bahawalpur, Khairpur, Amb, Chitral, Swat, Kalat, Kharan, Makran, and Lasbella, were introduced and implemented by the government of Pakistan and not by the British government.
Sardarzada Muhammad Najib Sanjrani said Chaghi was not part of the Kalat state, therefore, it should be declared a princely state in the SAFRON and the land rent of Sandak and Rekodiq projects should be given to the Sanjrani tribe of Chaghi.
The home secretary replied that Chaghi was part of the British Balochistan like that of Quetta, Dera Bugti, Kohlu, and other areas.
JJS: In the West, subtle power brokers disguise their rent grabbing via loans and mortgages but elsewhere the ones calling the shots simply demand it.
Businessman barred from travel over land rent
The Administrative Court in Jeddah has placed a travel ban on a Saudi businessman and frozen his assets to force him to pay overdue land rent to the Mayor’s Office.
The businessman had rented from the mayoralty a site containing a lake in the north of the Corniche over a period of 15 years for SR750,000 per year before the contract was terminated by the Attorney General and the site was rented out to another businessman. “The businessman took the Mayor’s Office to court to demand that it retract its decision and exempt him from fines placed on him after the contract was annulled,” an informed source said.
He added that the businessman is also seeking compensation of SR3 million for buildings he constructed at the site.
JJS: At least that guy was a real businessman and put the land to use. Others don’t do anything but keep land out of use, waiting for a bubble to form.
Lagos moves to tackle land speculation
The Lagos State government is set to tackle cases of land speculation in the state, whereby people buy land without developing them over a period of time in anticipation of appreciation in value, with the threat of revocation of such lands.
Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Lands Bureau, Mr. Gbenga Ashafa, said it has been discovered that many allotees only secure government land for purely speculative objectives as their interests run counter to government’s goals, adding that as a way of curbing the practice, revocation of land by the state government has now become routine.
Ashafa asserted that government allocates land to members of the public and issues Certificate of Occupancy with terms and condition, noting that holding on to the land without developing it, deprives several other people who are willing and ready to develop it.
“Some even hold onto land for more than 20 years without developing them. Consequently, government revenue is affected by non-development of such allocated plots of land. Owners of such vacant plots do not pay ground rent.
Local governments too are deprived of tenement rates and later land use charge,” he said.
“The undeveloped plots of land usually serve as hideouts and unsightly scenes for hoodlums and criminals to perpetrate their nefarious activities.
“Conversely, the multiplier effect of the revocation is creation of employment by contractors handling jobs on behalf of the allotees.
“Government has, therefore, decided to enforce the terms and conditions as enshrined in the Certificate Of Occupancy and letters of allocation, especially where accessibility had been made possible through minimum infrastructure provision,” he remarked.
JJS: These places have the right idea: have government recover rents paid for natural advantages like locations. To make that charge fair, they should spend the raised revenue in ways to benefit each member of society equally. To make the recovery even more efficient, they should also quit levying taxes on people's efforts and property. Implement this total geonomic package and none of these places would ever know poverty again.
Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics.
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