Expanded hectare: Far Eastern program will be extended to the Arctic

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The program of the “Far Eastern hectare” in Russia is planned to be extended to almost the entire territory of the Arctic. This was announced by the government of the country. At first, northern residents will be able to get a free piece of land in the Arctic, including Novaya Zemlya. Now the bill is in the State Duma. How to use the experience gained in the Far East in order for the program to be effective was discussed by the participants of the round table, which took place at the Project Office for the Development of the Arctic (PORA). It was attended by the owners of a hectare, experts, representatives of state institutions. Izvestia followed the course of the discussion.

Expanded boundaries

The fact that the “Far Eastern hectare” program, which has been operating in Russia since 2016, is also planned to be extended to the Arctic territories, became known during a regular government meeting held in mid-April… This was announced by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

– Now the boundaries of the territories in the Arctic will be expanded, within which you can get a preferential hectare. Citizens will be able to take land plots according to a simplified procedure and in a shorter time frame. At the same time, special attention will be paid to preserving the traditions and culture of the indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East, the prime minister said.

Program will operate in seven regions of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. It will be possible to get a plot, including on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago.

Previously the government adopted a state program for the development of the Arctic zone, within the framework of which it is planned to spend about 15 billion rubles in the next four years on measures designed to ensure the sustainable development of the region, create new jobs and increase the income level of residents of the northern territories

The draft law, according to which residents of the Arctic, by analogy with residents of the Far East, will be able to receive a plot of land free of charge for the implementation of their own projects or for agricultural needs, was developed by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East at the end of last year.… The initiator was Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev, in the past – Permanent Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Far East.


Photo: RIA Novosti / Evgeny Epanchintsev

A total of 2.5 million people live in the Arctic zone of Russia, of which 90% live in large cities – Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Norilsk. Therefore, the land around these cities should be in demand, noted then the head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, Alexander Krutikov.

“In addition, the demand for suburban real estate has grown sharply amid restrictive measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection,” he said.

According to the program rules proposed by the ministry, it will be possible to get a free plot of land up to 1 hectare for a period of five years, then it will be possible to issue it into ownership or a long-term lease. You can use the land for the construction of a residential building or for any economic activity – from the creation of a private farm to the provision of tourist services.

At first, only residents of these regions will have such an opportunity, after six months all residents of Russia and participants in the state program for the resettlement of compatriots will be able to use it. Now the bill is in the State Duma. In anticipation of its consideration, the specifics of the “Arctic hectare” were discussed at a round table of the Project Office for the Development of the Arctic.

Card mismatch

It is possible and necessary to take into account the experience with the “Far Eastern hectare”, as well as the fact that in the Arctic the rules for obtaining a hectare are different – you must be a resident of the Arctic zoneto get the land, says the coordinator of the Expert Council Alexander Vorotnikov.

The experience of implementing the “Far Eastern hectare” shows that the greatest difficulties arise due to imperfections in land legislation, draws attention to the creator of the forest school “Veronica” from Primorye, Natalia Bugaets.

– Very big difficulties are caused by the discrepancy between the maps and what is in the area – we were rejected several times an application due to the fact that the site fell either on the forest fund or on the road. It happened that a hectare was superimposed on someone’s plot, – she lists.


Photo: TASS / Yuri Smityuk

In some cases, the lack of accurate information about the land led to conflicts between the recipients of a hectare and those who previously lived in these territories, she draws attention

In order to solve the problem, it is necessary to carry out an inventory of land even before the launch of the program, she draws attention. In addition, it may be worthwhile to provide for a simplified mechanism for transferring land from one category to another – the experience of the Far East, according to her, showed that not all recipients of a hectare had experience in acquiring land and, accordingly, did not always pay attention to the category of land.

This can be avoided, she said, either by simplifying the procedure for transferring land from category to category, or by improving the support for recipients of a hectare by local authorities in the early stages.

Become a single cluster

The “land” issue will be especially acute in the Arctic, in many areas of which inventory has not been carried out in principleaccording to most experts. To avoid confusion, additional measures must be taken in advance.

It is necessary to think about certain risks of land surveying right away, agrees Alexander Puzanov, director of the Institute for Urban Economics, professor at the Higher School of Economics. In addition, you need to focus on formation of several sites on a single territorybecause this will significantly simplify the development of infrastructure, he is convinced.

“We will win if these are not separate land plots scattered across the Arctic, but clusters,” he emphasizes.

Association of owners, in his opinion, will also allow them to more effectively build interaction with banks that can provide additional financing. But in this case, it will be necessary in advance to create public administration bodies, to determine the categories of land and the form of ownership.


Photo: TASS / Yuri Smityuk

If we are not talking about lands adjacent to settlements, but about a new municipality, you will additionally need to determine the sources of financing for the construction of infrastructure facilities and the ownership of them: “There is, for example, a road – will it be municipal property or not? “.

Now we are talking about isolated cases of success associated with the development of rural areas and social entrepreneurship. Meanwhile it would be more efficient to embed hectares into a single chain, combining plots intended for specific activities in advance, and provide their owners with subsequent support with the implementation of projects, says Inna Rykova, head of the Center for Sectoral Economics of the Research Institute for Basic Research of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.

“If we give a hectare, we need to talk not only about a hectare, but also about the sectoral direction that would be in demand in this particular region,” she emphasizes. – We need to prepare sites to which residents would already come.

Additional support measures depending on the type of activity will be necessary in any case, draws attention to Natalia Bugaets: “They need to be developed together with those who directly use these measures.” The lack of such “targeted” support, she said, was especially acute at the start of the program in the Far East.

Recall that in the Far East, the first hectares began to be issued in 2017. By 2020, according to the Agency for the Development of Human Capital (ACHRK), a total of about 54 thousand hectares were issued.