Foreigners Prevented From Purchasing Farmland In Hungary

  • 9 Oct 2015 9:00 AM
Foreigners Prevented From Purchasing Farmland In Hungary
The government’s programme of selling off state-owned land to farmers is aimed at preventing foreign nationals from acquiring farmland in the country, János Lázár, head of the government office, told a regular government briefing. Lázár said it was important to ensure that Hungarian farmers have the opportunity to buy state-owned land.

He stressed that land auctions would be public and it would be possible to sell only at above market price.

Public auctions for state-owned land will start in mid-November, the farm minister told public news television earlier.

Concerning recent remarks Lazar made in a parliamentary subcommittee suggesting misuse of funds in agricultural companies under both the previous and the current administration, he said his remarks were not based on his own experience.

He added that the Hungarian state no longer owns farming ventures because “there are only problems when the Hungarian state takes to farming”.

Lázár confirmed that the state would sell 380,000 hectares to local farmers. Asked about the revenue the sales are expected to generate, Lazar acknowledged speculation they could bring in 300 billion forints (EUR 96m), but said an estimate could only be made after the first two weeks of the sales.

On another subject, Lázár said the government is aiming to simplify tasks in public administration. He revealed that 278 new government windows would be set up by March of next year and that several administrative fees would either be reduced or eliminated effective Jan. 1.

Lázár said he also wants tax procedures to be simplified, adding that “instead of constant investigations and fines, [the tax authority] should work on the assumption taxpayers obey the law.”

He said he would submit a proposal on the reduction of tax administration fees to parliament this month. In November, a proposal for a 30 percent increase in the salaries of public administration workers from July 2016 will be submitted, he added.

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