18 Jun 2014

Port Vila land rental increases cancelled for now

3:37 pm on 18 June 2014

The Vanuatu government has cancelled a controversial land rental increase in Port Vila to avoid any grounds for a challenge.

The Department of Lands initiated the first review of state land leases in the capital since the 1980s which is estimated to have cost the government around 2 million US dollars each year in lost income.

The Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu says about 4,000 notices that were issued to lessees have now been cancelled.

He says the department will start again.

"There were some procedures that weren't followed correctly in previous years where certain things had to be done which hadn't been done and so the rent review was potentially subject to challenge. We thought it better just to start again and make sure everything was done properly."

Ralph Regenvanu says the rent review is essential so the government can collect income which will in turn provide services for the people.