Coming shortly on the heels of a Restaurant Stimulus Package, government has introduced a new economic incentive package geared towards land ownership. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas informed listeners of his radio program that citizens could now access land with only a small down down-payment. “I announced just last week in my press conference of the government’s stimulus package of ensuring that every Kittitian and Nevisian has access to at least 4000 square feet of land. The fact that you have access to it means that we would make provision for you to have 4000 square feet of land available to you with the down payment of 100 dollars.”Douglas also explained that those purchasing land under the stimulus package would be given up to a two-year grace period before beginning to pay for said land. “We give you a two-year moratorium to start your second and third payments, until you pay off for that land. The price of the land is $2.95 per square foot, so you will be charged about maybe 12,000 dollars at the end of the day which you will pay over a period of years -100 per month… whatever you can afford; that’s what you would pay until you pay off for it.”The Prime Minister and Minister of Lands described the stimulus package as a means of empowering citizens through land ownership. He also explained that under the package, titles for the land would be given with the down- payment, thus allowing the land owner to leverage the asset before it was fully paid for. “What is critically important here is that part of our stimulus package to ensure that people can develop themselves is to provide the title to you so that it is unencumbered and you can use it at the bank as collateral to get on with your business; whether it is to build your own house on that same piece of land, whether it is to start your own business, whether it is to send your children off to school -use that piece of paper that the government is providing to you.”Further assistance to prospective landowners would be provided by the government’s legal department and other agencies who would negotiate more economical terms for transactions involved in the land procurement. “This is the first initial attempt to empower our people as being land owners,”Douglas stated. “We will negotiate for a nominal fee to be charged as individuals would have to pay surveyors on their own. The legal department stands ready to assist and we believe that stamp duty for the land is about $720. You can get the title for your land in your hand and then use that as collateral.”The PM, however, did not inform as to which federal agency would be responsible for its implementation and operation, or how interested persons could take advantage of the land stimulus package.
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