Business News of Monday, 2 October 2017
Surveyors are eager to see the passage of two important pieces of legislation for the real estate sector – the Estate Brokerage Bill, which could check money laundering and tax evasion in the sector; and the Survey Council Bill, which is expected to hem in quack practitioners and the ill-famed land guards.
The bills have been in the works for the past ten years, and President of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors (GhIS) Edwin Addo-Tawiah has said the earlier they are passed the better it will be for the country.
Speaking at the Annual Seminar of the Valuation and Estate Surveying Division of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors (GhIS) in Kumasi, Edwin Addo-Tawiah said the two bills, when passed into law, will bring enormous benefits to the country – saying a Survey Council Act, for example, would curb the activities of quack surveyors who promote the land guard menace.
The Survey Council Bill, he said, has recently been deliberated upon at the Lands Commission and should be forwarded by next month. It will register all surveyors who qualify to work in Ghana.
The Lands Commission will licence surveyors already qualified by the Council to practice cadastral as their day to day work.
The Estate Brokerage Bill, Surv. Addo-Tawiah stated, will be resubmitted to the Ministry of Works and Housing for onward transmission to Cabinet.
“The Minister has promised to collaborate with us to ensure that the Bills are passed,” adding that “the Estate Brokerage Law will minimise money laundering and compel property dealers to pay appropriate taxes to the state.”
Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio, described the current land ownership regime as “hazy”, saying not enough resources and skills have been pooled to address the land management regime’s several inadequacies in the country.
He also added that the Land Bill is expected to be laid in Parliament for passage into law. “We have also initiated the process of continuing the land reform process through a third phase of LAP, in keeping with the original anticipated timeframe of 25 years to achieve what we desire.”
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, appealed for surveyors to reconsider rates of service charges, since they add to the cost of estate activities.
The two-day seminar is expected to provide an opportunity for sharing ideas, brainstorming and engaging stakeholders as to how to satisfy societal needs in view of numerous challenges, and redefine surveyors’ relevance as a professional body.
The GhIS president announced that Ghana has won the hosting rights for the 2020 International Cost Engineering Council (ICEC) Global Conference.