4.2.1.Agricultural Land Protection
In the years of 1940-50, due to ill-considered developments and to the thriftless area utilization, the agricultural land in our country started to decrease speedily. To stop this undesirable process, a law was passed in 1961, which, unprecedented in other countries, prescribed official permission, if the use of the agricultural land was planned to differ from agriculture.
Of course, since then the legislation has changed a lot, it has been mainly tightened, but its conceptual line remained unchanged: temporarily or finally, agricultural land can be used only by the leave of the authority for other purpose than agriculture or forestry. To the utilization of agricultural land for industry, mining, water conservancy, transport, community development and/or other purposes, a permission has to be granted by the agricultural land office. This means, if agricultural land is intended to be used to other purpose, preceding the utilization an application should be submitted to the land office, marking exactly where the agricultural land in question lies and what size it has, and what purpose it will be used to. On the basis of the application, the land office makes a decision on the question of permission.
From among the various investments the enlargement of the core areas of communities is worthy of note, since in the past decades the agricultural land was extraordinarily squandered. For the time being, however, the border of the core area can be altered only under the permission of the land office, so in this regard the situation has been highly improved.
However, the utilization of agricultural land under permission does not provide preventing force all by itself and further, the areas should be compensated which inevitably have to be used to investments. Therefore, in case of non-agricultural utilization of the agricultural land, beyond the permission, a agricultural land protection fee should be paid, too.
In case of using agricultural land without permission for investment, the land office may prescribe the reclamation of the agricultural land in order to get back to the original state, which provision may be lifted, in specially reasoned cases only, by the Minister of Agriculture. In case of illegal agricultural land use for investment, beyond the agricultural land protection fee, agricultural land protection fine should be paid, too, which may amount to the sum three times more than the agricultural land protection fee.
To compensate the agricultural land used to investments, the sums received from the agricultural land protection fees and fines have to be turned to reclaiming the production ability of the agricultural land and soil where it is possible (e.g. in case of abandoned farms, roads, borrow areas etc.). Each year invitations to tenders are advertised by the Ministry of Agriculture aiming at reclaiming the production ability of the agricultural land. For the winners, the agricultural land reclamation will be financed from the agricultural land protection fee and fine collected. The tender offers should be submitted to the competent land office, where a detailed expertise will be prepared about the tender offfers. The expertise will be used in the Ministry of Agriculture in the course of judging the tender offers. The realization is supervised as well as the costs of reclamation to be paid are endorsed by the competent land office.
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