The Roundtable was arranged by Manusher Jonno Foundation, Uttaran, and CARE at Azimur Rahman Conference Hall of The Daily Star on 3 April, 2014. Shamsur Rahman Sherif, the land minister, and Abdul Mannan, the director general of the ‘Directorate of Land Records and Survey’ attended the discussion as the chief guest and special guest respectively. Shaheen Anam, the executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, chaired the discussion.
The discussion was onward by the eminent economist Prof. Abul Barakat of Dhaka University. The meeting discussed about the land situation of Bangladesh where everyone showed their anxiousness to take it in a systematic way as the land grabbers of Bangladesh are very much powerful. Most of the real estate companies have implemented housing projects grabbing khas land.
Land Minister, Mr. Shamsur Rahman Sherif said that the government will go tough on land grabbers and corruption in the sector to ensure land rights of the marginal people.
Md. Shamsul Alam, the national project director of Strengthening Access to Land and Property Rights for All Citizens of Bangladesh, presented the key features of the pilot project. He said that with the EU’s financial support, the government is implementing the project in three upazilas — Jamalpur Sadar, Manoharpur of Rajshahi and Amtali of Barguna. Under the project, Khas land will be recovered after a digitized land survey in the upazilas. Then the land will be given to landless people. All land owners will receive a certificate from the land office. He also added “The project will help to protect the land rights of marginal people”. The director of Uttaran, Shahidul Haque gave a presentation on the ‘Sustainable Access to Land Equality’ project that promotes digitalisation of land records and survey in Bangladesh. Monzu Morshed, deputy chief of CARE’s Shouhardo project, and Segufta Islam Emily, an Awami League lawmaker, also spoke there.