New entity will deal with vacant land fee

Updated 27 June 2016
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New entity will deal with vacant land fee

JEDDAH: The Housing Ministry intends to establish an operating company to manage the vacant land fees program.

According to Mohammad Al-Mdaihem, the chief of the vacant land fees program, the company will be operational by the end of 2016. He said the ministry would announce decisions on the payment of fees by land owners in December.
The decisions will oblige banks holding the certificate of mortgages on lands to register and pay applicable fees.
Al-Mdaihem was speaking during a seminar held in the Eastern Province to discuss the executive list of the “Tax Law on Vacant Land” issued by the Housing Ministry.
The objectives of the program for vacant lands are to increase the supply of land to reach a balance between supply and demand in addition to dealing with the challenges faced by the ministry to fill the gap gradually and in sequence and to overcome the lack of data and information on the land all over the Kingdom.
“The ministry is currently working on three balanced projects — the completion of the organizational structure for the management, the establishment of a data base and the commencement of the implementation process,” he said.
On the matter of lands encumbered by banks for mortgages, he said the matter was discussed extensively and because of the absence of mortgage laws except for those of the Real Estate Development Fund, the fees would be imposed on the party holding the certificates of mortgage.
“In the case of banks, they are obliged to register and pay the fees. The banks are capable of protecting themselves for bearing the costs through the provisions stated in the contracts with the original owners of the land,” he said.
He noted the ministry is working with the Saudi Authority for Accredited Valuers (Taqeem) as the body having jurisdiction to assess the property. He also noted that the ministry was working on the completion of the geographical information for Makkah and Madinah, asserting that in Riyadh alone there are 67,000 plots of vacant or unused land with an area ranging from 200 to 1 million square meters.
Commenting on the issue of the cadastral survey, he said: “The ministry needs to conduct cadastral surveys to define the extent, value, and ownership of land, all with the aim of providing services and utilities.”
The next step will involve opening all channels of information for citizens to be familiarized with the land assessment processes in accordance with the transparency principle.
“The step following the assessment will involve issuing the decision (the billing process) by which the relevant individual or body will receive a text message sent by the Absher system, and a letter sent by the Saudi Post containing all the details about the land,” he explained, asserting that there was an objection mechanism which involves filing objections within 60 days of the issuance of the decision. The system also grants the ministry 60 days to respond, he added.
Regarding Dammam urban lands, he said the remaining period to register was 6 months before the issuance of the decision, after which the land owner can object within a period of 60 days and then the fees must be paid, or the owner will be granted a grace period of 12 months to develop the land.
Commenting on the existing disputes among heirs, he said: “The ministry is not concerned or involved with these disputes. The fees must be paid no matter what.”
He expressed the fears of the Ministry that some would cause imaginary problems to evade payments, but in all cases settling the disputes and differences between heirs or partners is within the power and jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice.


Saudi Arabia praised for services and facilities for Hajj pilgrims

Updated 16 August 2018
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Saudi Arabia praised for services and facilities for Hajj pilgrims

  • Guests laud King Salman’s efforts to unify ranks
  • Tatarstan’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Kamil Ismailov hailed the Kingdom’s efforts to ensure pilgrims’ comfort and safety

MAKKAH: King Salman received thanks from guests at Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Guests Program for welcoming and supporting pilgrims. They also thanked him for hosting them so that they can perform Hajj rituals. 

The king’s guests praised the services provided for them from the moment they arrived in the holy lands. This underscores the depth of the Saudi experience in dealing with crowds and successfully hosting millions of pilgrims each year.

Tatarstan’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Kamil Ismailov hailed the Kingdom’s efforts to ensure pilgrims’ comfort and safety.

“The expansion projects in the Two Holy Mosques and the holy sites, as well as the readiness of all medical and security teams, constitute strong evidence of Saudi Arabia’s capacities and ability to organize and manage the crowds with every Hajj season,” he added.

Ismailov pointed out that Muslims represent 70 percent of the population in Tatarstan, and that it is the first country in the region to adopt Islam as a state religion since 922.

Sheikh Mustafa Jusufspahic, the grand mufti of Belgrade, in Serbia, said that King Salman’s hosting of pilgrims from all over the world continues a tradition of the leadership of this blessed land assisting and unifying Muslims. It continues the path of good and giving by the Kingdom’s leaders toward Islamic work in the world, accounting for its prestigious position in the Muslim world, he added.

Jusufspahic expressed his thanks and appreciation to King Salman for his great gesture that enables Muslims to perform Hajj easily and conveniently. He praised all services offered in the program, which is supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

Mohammed Amin, a professor from Ethiopia, who is making his first visit to Makkah, commended King Salman’s invitation to Muslims from all over the globe. He also saidthat the Ethiopian people were well aware of the financial and cultural support provided by the Kingdom.

The imam of the Central Mosque in Ethiopia, Ibrahim Khalil, expressed his admiration for the warm reception he and his delegation received upon their arrival, their speedy entry into the country and the journey to their residence.

Guinean Islamic preacher Mohammed Idris said the infrastructure and the scale of the preparations in Makkah reflect the tremendous efforts from all sectors there. “The Kingdom endeavors to develop organization and management of the Hajj season every year, a fact highly acclaimed among Muslims in Guinea, who consider Saudi Arabia to be the heart of the Islamic world,” he said.

Professor Bassim Berniavorates, from the faculty of medicine at the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia, said he was happy he had the opportunity to perform Hajj for the first time in his life, and was eager to meet Saudi people, to learn about their customs and traditions, and to visit popular markets that reflect the historical richness of Makkah.

He added that the Bosnian people were grateful for Saudi Arabia’s support throughout history, which has enabled them to overcome obstacles and crises and achieve their aspirations in building a civilized and democratic nation.

Bassim, a professor of anesthesia at the University Hospital in Sarajevo, noted that the program helped to extend bridges of communication with the world. “The Bosnians became more familiar with the Saudis and proud of this cultural fusion in the holiest parts of the earth,” said Bassim.

Dr. Mekhtbakh, from the Sports Academy in Kyrgyzstan, said that by visiting the holy land he had achieved a life-long dream. He expressed his thanks and appreciation to King Salman for his generous patronage and keenness to host Muslims from all over the world.