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Cambodia to levy economic land concessions tax..Keat Chhon brilliant idea

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday ordered investors in economic land concessions (ELC) to pay tax from the sixth year of their investment in a bid to speed up their agricultural production.

“The premier decided that investment companies receiving ELCs must pay the land tax of 5 U.S. dollars a hectare to the government from their 6th year of investment,” said the statement released after the Council of Ministers meeting. “The 5 U.S. dollar tax per hectare will be increased by 1 percent every year.”

According to the Agriculture Ministry, as of 2011, the country has granted 1.19 million hectares of ELC to 118 investment firms including 41 domestic companies and 77 foreign firms from China, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, the United States, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Israel, Australia and Sweden.

Cambodia began to grant ELC to investors in 1993, aiming at boosting agricultural exports such as rubber, palm oil, sugar cane and cassava.

A company could get maximum 10,000 hectares of ELC for maximum 99 years. However, in May 2012, Hun Sen ordered a temporary halt to granting ELC to new local and foreign firms in order to strengthen the effective management of the granted ELC.

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