By Elias Hazou
THE GOVERNMENT and its international lenders have reached agreement on a key objective of the bailout deal, reducing the number of pending applications for title deeds at the land registry to 2,000 by year’s end, interior minister Socrates Hasikos said on Monday.
Currently the title deeds pending with the Land Registry concerning building irregularities exceeds 30,000.
“After completing the evaluation of the properties, the second top obligation is the issuance of the title deeds, as by the end of the year the titles to be issued should be reduced to 2,000,” Hasikos told reporters, adding that the land registry has only six months left to conclude the task.
Responding to a question, Hasikos said the government and the troika could agree in the coming days to slash the transfer fees in the real estate sector by 50 per cent.
Noting the government’s aim to halve transfer fees, Hasikos said the lenders want to explore the fiscal impact of such an action.
“This is one of the issues under discussion and I expect that in the coming days we will conclude this issue and proceed with a 50 per cent reduction in these fees,” he said, adding that the government will present figures justifying this reduction.
“I have the impression we will convince (our lenders),” he concluded.
Officials from the ministry met with technocrats of the troika, (EC, ECB and the IMF), currently in Cyprus for the fifth review of the Cypriot economic adjustment programme.
The title deeds in question are those where an application for issuance has been made to the land registry by the developer. But that leaves some 90,000 to 100,000 still in limbo where no such application has been made.
The troika has demanded a task force to look into the other 100,000.