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Amendments Transfer Zoning Authority to Local Governments

From 2016 the federal system under which land and real estate is parceled up into categories based on its intended use — for example farmland or industrial land — could be scrapped as a result of draft legislation prepared by the economic development ministry, Kommersant reported Tuesday.

The initiative is meant to free up real estate developers, who often face complications when trying to build or redevelop on land in ways that run counter to its fixed category.

The amendments to the federal Land Code would sweep away the federal designations and pass over responsibility for land allocation to local authorities.

On the federal level only protected areas, nature reserves and valuable farmland would retain their current status.

Experts at agricultural institutes expressed doubts about the proposal, saying that without adequate funding and clear instructions, local governments might not be able to institute the new system.

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