By Ayman Adly Staff Reporter
The Central Municipal Council (CMC) suggested on Tuesday the possibility of adopting a new mechanism for the benefit of land owners when their properties are acquired by the government for public good.
In particular, this applies for the land plots that are taken over to establish commercial projects. CMC members, who spoke at the biweekly session, were of the view that such land owners should be given the choice of becoming a partner in the project set to be established on their land with a share equal to the market value of the property.
The issue was earlier put forward for discussion at the CMC by member Mohamed bin Saleh al-Khayareen and it was handled in detail by CMC Services and Utilities Committee. It was stressed that the law regulating the acquisition of private property for public good is a positive factor as the public good takes priority over individual interests, while maintaining the rights of the individuals concerned.
However, it has been observed that some individuals usually do not know how to properly invest the money they get in exchange for their land plots, and may not be able to purchase another plot at the same prices.
Accordingly the council recommended that the Ministry of Municipality and Environment should study the possibility of creating an investment authority to handle the issue of state acquisition of private property. Such authority would eventually give priority for the owners of the acquired land to be partner or shareholder in the relevant commercial projects, or the price of the land, whichever is preferred. In this way, land owners would have a choice to go for a secure investment with possible guaranteed return.
The council issued other recommendations regarding the regulation of commercial advertisements, especially those posted at public places. They council had earlier suggested that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry should exercise tighter control on this process and monitor it closely, especially for advertisements that may contravene the established values of the Qatari society and its traditions. Besides, the wording of these ads should be linguistically correct with accurate translations in Arabic or any other targeted languages. This also applies to the boards, posters and placards at the various commercial outlets in the country.
Ayyid al-Qahtani, director of the Commercial Registration and Licenses Department at the Ministry, told the council that there is a specialised committee at the Ministry, which supervise this process and ban any wordings or names that could constitute a breach of public ethics or religious values, or may imply insult to public figures. In addition, there are inspectors who check for linguistic errors and make sure that the language is used properly.
The CMC also raised the issue of banning workers accommodations within family residential areas and called for stricter enforcement of the law passed nine years ago.
The council is an elected body to represent the people and meets every two weeks at a public session to discuss various municipal services and related issues to suggest the proper courses for improvement.
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