LAND REFORMS

One of important problems after Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and Azerbaijan gained independence was implementation of new land policy and land reforms. Collapse of dependent economic system of Soviet Union drove Azerbaijan, like other republics, to grave economic crisis. The only right way to get the republic out of this crisis was forming the economy with new economic bases in short time, supplying population with agricultural products and food. To assure all this it needed to carry out land reforms. Like all other issues important to start the new life of independent Azerbaijan, implementation of land reforms also is linked to the name of great leader Heydar Aliyev.

In 1993-2003, under leadership of Heydar Aliyev agrarian reforms and land reforms were carried out in the Republic of Azerbaijan, development of agriculture, production of agricultural outputs intensified, First, material welfare of producers lifted, production conditions improved, wish of Azerbaijani ploughman to become a landowner come true, lands were freely given to villager and new land-ploughman relations promoted.

Unfortunately, in the first years of independence, i.e. till 1993 economy of the country was seriously damaged by frequent change of political power, incompetence of the power, anarchy and chaos. On the other hand, involvement of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the war by Armenia, arrival of refugees from occupied districts in other districts, spending fantastic moneys on military operations hardly damaged the economy that was on the edge of crisis.

These processes left the country in the mid 1993 face to face with civic war and collapse. Just in such a critic moment national leader Heydar Aliyev began fulfilling his historical mission – salvation of Azerbaijan.

After 1993 the people of Azerbaijan was saved of economic crisis, military-political confrontation, social decline, cultural depression and moral erosion.

The great leader initiated and led development of land reform programme after long discussions and legal base was created in base of this programme for implementing land reforms.

Over 52 decrees, laws and other legal documents including Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan ‘On land reforms’ of July 16, 1996, Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan ‘On state land cadastre, land monitoring and structure’ of December 22, 1998, Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan ‘On land rent’ of March 12, 1999, Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan ‘On land market’ May 7, 1999, Land Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan approved by Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan of June 25, 1999 provided well grounded base to implement land reforms in republic. Land reforms started by great leader Heydar Aliyev in Shurut and Gal villages of Julfa district of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchyvan commenced to be applied all over the republic. Implementation of reforms was intensified after Decree 534 of January 10, 1997 of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan ‘On approval of some legal documents assuring implementation of agrarian reforms’.

However, one of main guarantees of success of this process was huge works done for development of the agrarian sector in Azerbaijan in 1969-1982. Land reforms carried out in the independence period would not be the corresponding basis if agriculture had not been developed, agrarian potential and land resources of the country effectively used, water melioration economy created at that time. Land reforms implemented in the country based just on the firm cornerstone the great leader laid in the agriculture sector in 1969-1982.

These reforms causing important achievements in development of agriculture differed from analogical reforms implemented in other countries with 3 principles set by author and performer of this policy Heydar Aliyev.

First, just on his initiative lands were freely given to citizens in Azerbaijan, about 3,5 mln people became landowners and it created new strong class of proprietors, formed new land-ploughman relations, characterized fruitful use of land and care for land.

Second, most suitable lands were privatized. In other words, unlike other CIS countries, the citizen was given not unsuitable or less suitable land but most suitable and fruitful lands of former state and collective farms. Physical and legal persons of the Republic of Azerbaijan were given exclusive rights on land areas in their own property such purchase and sale, presenting, giving to lease or use, legacy, deposit. It proved unlike other former soviet republics in Azerbaijan land reforms were implemented not formally but fundamentally and in well grounded base.

Third, all citizens, irrespective of place of residence, were entitled to use and lease lands, also every citizen was entitled to partake in purchase and sale of land, signing contracts and agreements concerning land. In other words, except 3,5 mln people that became land owners, rest of population were not eliminated from land relations. Every citizen of Azerbaijan was entitled to directly partake in new land property relations.

Just at the initiative of national leader Heydar Aliyev physical and legal persons that were not citizens of Azerbaijan were not entitled to property of land, and it is of big economic and political importance. Just the agrarian policy based on the above given theses of social justice principle of Heydar Aliyev, the author of agrarian-economic policy of country, legalized with over 52 decrees and orders signed by him in 1993-2003 and implemented with correct execution mechanisms caused daily development of agrarian sector in Azerbaijan.

Due to perfect laws adopted, lands kept in public property and given to municipalities are used for welfare of people of Azerbaijan. Lands given to municipality property are used by population in way of purchase and sale, use, rent etc, lands in public property in way of rent and use. All laws provided legal base to development of agrarian sector and improved financial welfare of people.

Next phases of land reforms implemented as agrarian policy of Heydar Aliyev and continued at present by the President of the republic are dynamically deepening.

Decree of November 24, 2003 ‘On actions to accelerate socio-economic development in the Republic of Azerbaijan’ signed by President Ilham Aliyev who was elected head of state in 2003 presidential elections with majority vote inspired development of agrarian sector too, provided suitable circumstances to those working in this field.

In first phase of land reforms, which is over, 2032 state and collective farms in the republic were annulled and their fruitful lands were given to population and it was officialized with legal document approving their right of property, State Acts and recognition of lands in kind. In this phase, land share was given to 869 268 of 873 618 families entitled to get land share, except occupied districts, and this makes 3 442 778 subjects. Land reform has 99,5% been implemented in the country. 3 forms of property have been formed on land as result of land reforms. 4 913 639 hectares or 56,9% of 8 641 506 hectares forming the united land fund of Azerbaijan are in public property, 2 032 744 hectares or 23,5% are in municipality property and 1 695 123 hectares or 19,6% in private property.

Evidently, the Republic of Azerbaijan is in the era of socio-economic, cultural-moral, political-ideological and scientific progress under leadership of young and dynamic leader, President Ilham Aliyev. Number of achievements is getting increased day by day. These successes will possess specific place in our national progress as brightest pages of history of statehood in Azerbaijan.









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