The Far Eastern Hectare Program, which was launched in 2016 by the Russian government, has experienced significant success in formalizing property rights for free land plots in Russia’s Far East. Deputy Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, Elena Nurgalieva, announced at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) that 23,000 individuals have had their property rights formalized under the program.
The Hectare Program was designed to rejuvenate the region and stimulate its economy. It provides Russian citizens and foreign nationals with a hectare (2.5 acres) of land in the Far East as long as they reside there for a minimum of five years. The land can be utilized for housing, agriculture, recreation, and business projects.
According to Nurgalieva, the program has entered its second major stage, with the initial applicants, known as pioneers, having successfully completed their five-year term and now formalizing their property rights. Out of the 120,000 people currently participating in the Hectare Program, 23,000 have become landowners.
The value of the granted land is often significant, offering participants not only a home but also the opportunity to increase their net worth. Nurgalieva highlighted that half of the program’s participants plan to build a family house and remain in the region, potentially leading to an improvement in the demographic situation in the Far East.
The deputy minister expressed her confidence in the program’s success, stating that the 23,000 landowners serve as proof. She emphasized that these individuals had utilized the land for five years before deciding to formalize their property rights and pay applicable property taxes. Furthermore, she noted that there continues to be a growing interest from new applicants, indicating the program’s ongoing popularity.
In 2021, the Russian government also launched a similar program for the Arctic, where applicants can choose land locations near cities, major villages, or navigable rivers. This land grant can be used for building a house or establishing a business. Additionally, regional authorities are offering incentives and ultra-low taxes for small and medium-sized businesses for a three-year period.
The success of the Far Eastern Hectare Program and the subsequent launch of the Arctic program demonstrate the Russian government’s commitment to promoting economic growth and development in these regions. By providing individuals with the opportunity to access and utilize free land, the government aims to attract new residents and stimulate business activities. The long-term goal is to create thriving communities and enhance the overall prosperity of the Far East and Arctic regions.
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