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Changes to Land Acquisition Act will benefit land owners: Indranee Rajah

The "betterment levy", imposed on the compensation a land owner gets when the land is acquired, will be removed.

SINGAPORE: Land owners will now be better compensated when part of their land is acquired for development, following changes to the Land Acquisition Act.

Following amendments passed in Parliament on Tuesday (Aug 5), the "betterment levy" - a fee imposed on the compensation a land owner gets - will be removed. This fee is equivalent to the rise in value of the area around the acquired land as a result of developments.

Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah outlined the changes: "Previously, if after having acquired Part A, the value of Part B goes up, when you compensate the owner for Part A, what we would have done is deduct the increase in Part B. So effectively the owner gets less. In this instance, what we are saying is we will no longer deduct the increase to Part B, which may have risen as a result of whatever else developments take place around that land. And in this way, the land owner benefits."

The amendments to the Act will also minimise inconvenience to individual unit owners, and quicken the acquisition process and disbursement of compensation. For instance, the Management Corporation of strata-titled developments will be able to act on behalf of the individual unit owners when common property is acquired. Currently, when common areas in strata-titled developments such as carpark lots are acquired, all unit owners must go through the entire acquisition process even if their own units are not affected by the acquisition.