The state Duma has allowed to sell forest recipients “free acres”

The state Duma adopted on Friday in the second and third readings the governmental law about the possibility for each citizen to receive “free acres” in the far East. For the second reading the Duma Committee on land relations was made in the document amendment, which allowed to qualify for “free acres” of lands of the forest Fund. Recipients of such forest areas, in particular, will be allowed to harvest timber and sell it, if permitted activities chosen by them “harvesting”, it follows from the text of the amendments. The sale of such timber will be determined by the government of Russia, is told in the bill.

The law prohibits to completely cut down the forest to free the land, but provides for the exception: clear cutting is possible if forest land is losing its “environmental, water protection, sanitary-hygienic, improving and other useful functions” and this process cannot be stopped by selective cutting. The public chamber in its opinion on the draft amendments noted the potential for corruption of the reservation and in its conclusion, called upon to describe the mechanism of determining of such cases in the bill, but the Committee this observation into account. When using any forest land they will still be under the protection of the forest legislation, said the interlocutor of the land Committee.

In the original text of the bill nothing was said about the possibility of obtaining “free acres” forests in the far East such amendments have been made to the second reading of the bill. Forest lands constitute the main Foundation of the far Eastern lands: they are almost 80 times more than the agricultural (500 million hectares, as compared to 6.5 million hectares), it follows from the conclusion of the Public chamber on the draft law. If free handing out of lands, they would be enough only for 2 million people, and enough forest land to provide sites of 6 million locals and 30 million potential immigrants, it follows from the calculations of Commerce.

The bill on “free acres” was submitted to the Duma in November 2015 by the government in December passed in the first reading and since then are ready for the second. The document envisages the transfer of land area up to 1 hectare per person first for free use for 5 years, and then in the property or rent. “Free acres” will be available in Yakutia, Kamchatka, Primorye, Khabarovsk territories, Amur, Magadan, Sakhalin, the Jewish Autonomous regions and in Chukotka. The law should enter into force from 1 June 2016 the goal, but first on free sites will be able to claim only the residents mentioned in the law of regions. The rest of the Russians will be able to use the law of 1 February 2017.

To specify rules for transfer of ownership of forest land the authors of the project and recommended that the deputies of the presidential Council for codification of civil legislation, said in the Board’s opinion on the bill. As a result, the document introduced a number of mechanisms aimed at protection of forests, — that the prohibition of clear cuttings, and peculiarities of implementation of the wood, said the amendments represented at the meeting of the Duma on Friday, the Chairman of the land Committee Alexey Russian. To obtain the ownership of land from the forest Fund lands will be possible only after 15 years of appropriate use, he said. To get the property lands of other categories are three times faster — after five years of uncompensated use. But the bill allows for the change of category of lands, including the transfer from the forest Fund.

Members of the presidential Council for the codification of thought that the 15-year period will guarantee that the forest will not become the property of individuals, “pomogayuschih his predatory exploitation”. The public chamber, on the contrary, predicted only the decline of Russian interest in relocating to the far East over such a long period of “probation”.