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Neat land register is a condition for privatisation and investment

Minister of Urban Planning and Construction Dragoslav Sumarac

Belgrade, Nov. 14, 2002 - Serbian Minister of Urban Planning and Construction Dragoslav Sumarac said Thursday that the Serbian government included bringing the real estate register into order among its priorities, because so far it has been a serious obstacle to investors and the privatisation process as a whole, which are the key elements of economic reforms.

Unordered, incomplete or non-existent land registers led to insecurity over real estate ownership relations and the impossibility of laying mortgage, which in turn brings into question the efficiency of the privatisation process, since not a single investor is ready to invest money into a property whose ownership is unknown. Reform and update of land registers aims to clear up ownership relations in real estate.

According to estimates made by the Serbian Geodetic Institute, only 23 percent of the territory has its land registered, while 19 percent is included in the real estate cadastre. "There are many facilities which are visible, but actually don't exist. They have not been entered into any public register because necessary licenses which relate to them have not been made," Minister Sumarac said opening a two-day seminar on cadastre reform.

At the beginning of 2002, there were some 510 cadastre municipalities, today there are 868, and the Serbian Geodetic Institute plans to work out cadastres for all 1050 municipalities by the beginning of 2003. The Serbian government set up a commission for monitoring the preparation of real estate cadastre. Some 400 requests for registering in the cadastre have been submitted so far. Some 50 facilities a week should be registered in the next three months.

However, further improvement of the real estate cadastre is impossible without additional foreign investment, and therefore the Serbian government urges donors to offer assistance in this field.

The conference on reform of real estate cadastre is being jointly organised by the Serbian Ministry of Urban Planning and Construction and the Serbian Ministry of International Economic Relations, with the support of German Agency for Technical Cooperation, GTZ. The conference has gathered representatives from all relevant government bodies and international organisations.

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