Putin: Land market in Russia permeated with corruption

The development of land relations in Russia is being obstructed by corrupt officials, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. "Arbitrariness and corruption of officials is hampering and obstructing proper development of land relations in Russia, and, as a result, this slows down the country's progress on the whole," Putin said at a session of the Russian State Council presidium dealing with land organization.

Corruption is characteristic of all relations in this industry, Putin said. "Lack of openness and transparency is the main reason for corruption, which is literally permeating the entire land market," Putin said.

The president said he and the government keep receiving letters from people complaining that they cannot find information on free lands and that nobody cares about their needs and wishes.

"Obviously, it's necessary to take more measures and remove barriers that are barring people from receiving plots of land and use them freely and without red tape," he said.

Putin called for setting up a unified information resource on plots of land. "This information is unfortunately close to the people now. Heads of agencies, employees of various government bodies and different mediating organizations that have stuck to them have in fact monopolized this information, and people virtually cannot acquire even an abandoned plot without them," he said.

Putin demanded that the situation be changed radically so that each citizen can obtain any information on available land. "What can be secret about this? And even if there is some secret, there should be a reason for this. I know a lot of secret plots of land that stay idle for years, and nothing happens there," he said.

The problem will be partly resolved through implementing a 'road map' in the construction industry, Putin said. At the same time, the president said he was prepared to listen to more proposals on arranging a common land bank and open access to it.

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