The Serbian Government has issued a decree to lease state land

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The Government of Serbia has passed a decree according to which state agricultural land of poorer quality can be leased for the construction of facilities for renewable energy sources, geological research and exploitation of mineral raw materials, but also the disposal of tailings and other harmful substances for a period of 30 years.
Legal and natural persons will have this opportunity through public bidding, and in order to reach state arable land, they will have to offer at least five times the average lease price per hectare, while the lowest value for those who want to exploit mineral resources will be thirty times. At the same time, only uncultivated agricultural land consisting of pastures, reeds and swamps will be given for use, and from arable land, this refers only to fields and meadows from the sixth to the eighth cadastral class. In other words, arable agricultural land from the first to the fifth cadastral class cannot be the subject of use, but also the one that is in the process of restitution.
At the same time, precise conditions are defined if the state land is leased for disposal of harmful substances, according to which the project of its rehabilitation after use must be clearly done, but also 30 percent of the necessary money must be deposited in advance to return it to its original condition.
The conditions for obtaining this land will be extremely strict
Our source from Nemanjina 11 says that the conditions for obtaining this land will be extremely strict and that in addition to local self-governments and the Ministry of Agriculture, institutions dealing with environmental protection will be included in the leasing procedure.
– The decree wanted some ambiguities of the Law on Agricultural Land to be more precisely defined, especially in the part related to the use of state agricultural land for facilities of renewable energy sources, ie wind farms and solar power plants. The conditions for the exploitation of mineral raw materials are also more clearly defined, especially those related to the obligations of investors who want to use state arable land of poorer quality as landfills for tailings and harmful substances. In that part, the state is looking for special guarantees that the land will return to its original condition after the expiration of the use period, and at the same time it wants to provide serious investors in this area with a high price – our interlocutor states.
He adds that with this decree, the state creates conditions for higher revenues in the budget, but also an increase in the production of electricity from renewable energy sources.
– Local self-governments determine which land will be leased with the permission of the Ministry of Agriculture, and a legal or natural person can get it through a public tender. This practically means that the one who offers the highest price will get it – says our source.
The highest price will be a condition to conclude a contract with the Ministry of Agriculture
By the way, state agricultural land can be given for use under defined conditions as early as July 17, and only for facilities of certain activities that are important for the Republic of Serbia.
The Ministries of Agriculture confirmed our findings and stated that the adoption of this decree has multiple significance for the state.
– The regulation should provide for an increase in the production of electricity from renewable sources by using solar and wind energy. In addition, a more competitive economy will be provided, especially through increased opportunities for the exploitation of raw materials used in construction works and for the production of construction materials. What is no less important is the creation of completely new stable revenues for the budget, which are reflected in the payment of compensation for the use of state agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes – the Ministry of Agriculture states.
They point out that the highest price will be a condition for concluding a contract with the Ministry of Agriculture.
– That price is offered at a public tender that is held through a digital application that guarantees complete transparency of the procedure and the possibility of any unauthorized influences on the procedure. The fivefold amount of the fee is only the initial price from which it starts at the public bidding, while for the activity of exploitation of mineral raw materials it is thirty times the average price of renting a hectare of state land. At the same time, the investor is obliged to prepare a project for the reclamation of agricultural land and to deposit in the account of the Ministry the amount necessary for the implementation of these works after the expiration of the contract, which can last a maximum of 30 years – they say in the Ministry, BiF reports.