29 Apr 2014

Vanuatu govt initiates rent review of Port Vila state land leases

7:29 pm on 29 April 2014

The Vanuatu Government has initiated the first post-independence rent review of state land leases in Port Vila .

The Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu says this review is urgently needed because most rental payments are at less than 1 per cent of the value of urban state land.

This is estimated to be a loss of around 2 million US dollars income each year to the Government from Port Vila leases alone.

A recent Pacific regional study by the former Governor of Vanuatu's Reserve Bank, Odo Tevi, has shown that compared to GDP, the governments of Vanuatu and Tonga are collecting the lowest revenue as a percentage of their respective GDP's.

Whereas Tuvalu's revenue is over 80% of its GDP, Vanuatu only collects around 23% of its GDP in revenue from land rent.

Meanwhile, Vanuatu's council of ministers has endorsed efforts by the Lands Minister's to reacquire all State land titles sold under previous Minister, Steven Kalsakau, in the period 2011-2012.

Many of the titles were sold to Ministry of Lands and Department of Lands staff at massive discounts.