Toward the close of the year, the deputies of the lower house of parliament of Tajikistan approved two laws: “On Mortgage” and “On State Registration of Real Estate”, and made changes to the Land Code, introducing revolutionary changes in land use. Namely, that the land is for the first time, will be sold and bought. Unlike many CIS countries, in which private ownership of land was determined by the constitution, in Tajikistan land remained in state ownership. Former collective farmers received it for unlimited use, having issued an appropriate document for this - a certificate for the right to use land.
However, the declared freedom of a farmer without state support and scientific leadership too quickly turned into a collapse of the agricultural industry. The situation in cotton growing turned out to be especially difficult. The last decade, this industry, formerly a source of income for the country, brings only losses due to extremely low yields and poor quality cotton fiber, while dehkans themselves eke out a miserable existence, being content only with cotton stalks as payment for hard work. At the same time, almost all dekhkan farms have huge debts to futures companies, which, after the collapse of the Soviet system, undertook to finance cotton cultivation.
The debts were due to the exorbitant, 1.5-2 times, overpricing of fuel, machinery, fertilizers, seeds, and everything else that was supplied by futures companies to dehkans for cotton cultivation, and extremely low prices for futures to pick cotton. In addition, these supposedly unpaid debts are “put on the counter” and the interest is constantly growing on them, increasing the already exorbitant debts.
Not having had time to become independent, the dekhkans fell into the bondage of futurists, and growing cotton with the hardest labor, they end up with a debt that grows from year to year, and this will continue until the end of their lives. They would be happy to part with cotton, but it does not work. The government of the country, as in the Soviet years, makes decisions, resolutions and programs for the development of cotton growing, according to which the area under cotton should increase, the yield should increase, and the gross yield should reach the volumes of the Soviet period. In life, everything happens differently - the yield has fallen by half, the land goes out of circulation, and the debts of the peasants reached $ 420 million.
The situation came to a standstill, and to resolve it, a National Commission for Debt Resolution was set up, which included the heads of all ministries and departments, the Association of Dekhkan Farms. Soon, an Action Plan was developed to resolve debts, including all aspects of dekhkan farm activities, starting with the regulatory framework to ensure the protection of land use rights and up to the reform of pricing and simplification of cotton export procedures.
However, behind the streamlined phrases about improving the regulatory framework, in fact, there were such points: the withdrawal of land from dehkans for state and public needs, the introduction of a pledge mechanism and the subsequent alienation of land use rights. The society was informed about the forthcoming revolutionary change through the mouth of the chairman of the National Bank Murodali Alimardonov, who announced in the middle of the year the intention of the National Bank to create a land market in the country. He noted that in the country all economic relations are built on market grounds and only land remains the property of the state, and for agricultural development it is necessary to enter the land market. “Farmers will be able to use the certificate as collateral for bank loans. The owner will also be able to implement this certificate on the land market, ”he noted.
The Agency for Land Management, Geodesy and Cartography urgently developed and sent to the government a bill to amend the Land Code. Soon enough, he came to the consideration and approval of the lower house of the country's parliament, which also was asked to approve the accompanying Laws "On State Registration of Real Estate" and "On Mortgage". Moreover, everything was carried out so hastily that, without approving the law on mortgage, to which there were references in the Land Code, it was taken up for consideration at the session.
At the first discussion of the bill caused outrage deputies. MP Muhiddin Kabiri said: “The introduction of the amendments will lead to the fact that the right to use the land will go from the peasants to the bankers. We are actually transferring land into private property now, because we are talking about the formation of large landowners, which will be bankers and simply rich people. ”
The objections of the Kabiri were supported by other deputies. They opposed the value of the land to be determined by the pledgers, and asked whether farmers who were not owners of the land had the right to give it as a pledge. Communist Shoddi Shabdolov spoke even more critically. “For us, it remains unclear: what is the need for amendments? After all, even in Russia, with its endless expanses, it is forbidden to leave the land as a pledge. In essence, this is the forcible taking of land from dehkans. They will lose the only thing left for them - the right to work on state land. ”
But, alas, already at the next session of the parliament this law was unanimously adopted, as well as the accompanying laws specifying the process of alienation of the land and its transfer to the new owners. The indignations of independent lawyers by state officials are swept aside: “It’s not the land itself that will be sold, but a certificate for the right to use the land,” they argue. But the very concept of "land market" suggests that it will be sold land. And the fact that we are always talking about a certificate, and not about the land itself, does not change things, because the transfer of a certificate means the transfer of land use from one person to another, this is a sale.
Lawyers are categorically against it. The chairman of the Social Democratic Party, a lawyer, Rakhmatillo Zoyirov says: “The sale of a certificate is legally unacceptable, since it is a legal document confirming only the right to use. In order to create a land market, you must first make changes to the Constitution. ”
Predicting the fate of dekhkan farms is not difficult. Experts predict that the introduction of the certificate pledge procedure will be the beginning of the redistribution of land resources and will lead to a worsening of the situation of dehkans. The expert of the Tajik Informatics for Democracy and National Progress Foundation (INDEM), Saimuddin Dustov, believes that even greater uncertainty awaits them. “The existing state of affairs is already reminiscent of the Middle Ages, and with the transition to the“ duty-certificate-bank-structure X ”game mode, we will restore serfdom. In the conditions of Tajikistan, this is extremely dangerous. ”
An expert in the agrarian region, on condition of anonymity, said that representatives of the country's authorities and security forces had already seized most of the land, and are building palaces in suburban areas, and on the periphery are hiring people working on their lands, designed as dekhkan farms. Therefore, in this situation, the redistribution of land, he considers good.