Land reform climbs up Russian agenda

Russia’s Far East

Land reform: Modifications to Russia’s Land Code that are due to be introduced next months may  give Russian citizens the opportunity to buy or lease land from the state and local authorities for a specified  business use.  Properties for private use are also to be auctioned off. Although details of the reforms are sketchy, Putin has also given his approval to a separate plan that proposes giving  away one hectare of land to each resident in Russia’s Far East. 
The idea  was originally put forward by Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev as a means of stimulating the economy of this sparsely populated region and entice more people to move across the country. The state currently owns 90% of all land in Russia and  614 million hectares in the Far East. Almost 75% of the  region’s  six million inhabitants live in conurbations such as Vladivostok and Yakutsk, making Russia’s Far East one of the most sparsely populated place in the world. Population numbers have been falling for decades, but in the past 12 months its ranks have started to grow again and the number of people leaving has  also begun to decrease. The Siberian Times, KP