Any new news on land reform plan?

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Responding to a Jakarta Post Article on Government's Land Reform Plan, Sarapan Ekonomi raises a question on his post:
Many questions remain unanswered, however. How will the government do it? Whose land the government is going to distribute to farmers? Will the government confiscate land from its current owners?

If a government want to get a land, it can either (i) expropriate it from its owner or (ii) distribute state-owned lands. Expropriation must be conducted indiscriminately through legislation and it must come with a proper compensation to its owner, otherwise, it is a violation of the human rights to property. Thus, if this measure is to be taken, there has to be House of Representative enacted law governing specificaly on this matter. The second possibility is through the distribution of state-owned lands under expiring land titles. We know that Indonesia has established various land titles that can be used by companies namely Right of Use/Hak Pakai (usually it is only given to foreign representative ports or big projects), Right to Exploit/Hak Guna Usaha (usually granted to plantations, etc). Since these rights are valid between 25-35 years (unless extended), then the Govt can only distribute those granted after 1972.

A good summary of Indonesian Real Property Law and its various land titles is available here.