Possible flaws in Sor Por Kor land reform | Bangkok Post: learning

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Possible flaws in Sor Por Kor land reform

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The old scandal-ridden Sor Por Kor system of land reform may be facing even further problems. 

As a new promising community deed program is being launched (see article), there may be problems with the old system of land reform. 

People who received Sor Por Kor land in the old system may soon be able to use this land as collateral for loans. This may create problems.

Experts fear that this land "could end up in the hands of businessmen and politicians if farmers defaulted on loan repayments and the land was repossessed." 

Land reform is an issue that has developed over a long period of time. See previous Bangkok Post articles about land reform #1 (09-07-2010), #2 (10-05-2010),  #3 (20-01-2009) and #4 (17-06-2008). 

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Govt tackles land owners' 'system abuse': Sor Por Kor laws face major legal shakeup


Farmers in the fieldThe government is planning to replace the Sor Por Kor 4-01 land ownership papers with special title deeds to tackle the abuse which has plagued the land reform programme.

Landowners would be unable to sell the special title deeds during their lifetime, Deputy Interior Minister Thaworn Senneam said.

But they could use the deeds as collateral to obtain a private loan.

Mr Thaworn, who supervises the Land Department, said the ban on the sale of the land was to keep the land from ending up in the hands of businessmen and politicians.

The land reform policy is intended to give farmers land on which to make a living. It is not clear at this stage what restrictions the government might impose regarding the use of the deeds as collateral

Critics of the policy said the special deeds would not only fail to tackle land reform abuse but might encourage malpractice if they were allowed to be used as collateral without clear conditions.

It is feared the deeds could end up in the hands of businessmen and politicians if farmers defaulted on loan repayments and the land was repossessed.

Sor Por Kor land ownership papers are not transferrable under the present system, but they can be mortgaged with the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives.

The deeds would be more attractive as collateral," Mr Thaworn said.

The Sor Por Kor papers can be changed progressively to title deeds but this takes a long time and involves many steps. The Sor Por Kor papers will be transformed to deeds under the new policy.

The deputy minister said he had held talks with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva over two months on the launch of the special deeds. He said farmers eligible to have their Sor Por Kor papers upgraded to title deeds could be those who have made a living from the land for a long time, in many cases for at least 10 years. 

Land reform has remained a sore point for the Democrats. A debate in the House in 1995 exposed alleged irregularities in the Sor Por Kor 4-01 land reform scheme in Phuket that eventually led to the collapse of the first Chuan Leekpai government.

The reform land covers 31 million rai, or about 10% of the country's land area, in 679 districts across 69 provinces...

land reform - a government program to take the ownership of land from large land owners (the rich, the government) and give it (redistribute) to poor small farmers (See Wikipedia)
community - local people, all the people who live in a local area or place ชุมชน
deed - a written agreement signed in a formal way, usually for the sale of real estate or a house
community deed - when a whole community owns real estate or propery (instead of an individual person, company or the government)
launch - to start something เปิดโครงการ, เริ่มต้น, เริ่มทำ
title - the legal right to own land or property (real estate) and also the document that shows and proves ownership
title deeds - a formal signed document that gives a person or company the legal right to own land 
scandal - shocking and immoral behaviour เรื่องอื้อฉาว 
ridden - having a lot of some very bad thing, and suffering as a result
scandal-ridden - full of scandals
collateral - things of value that can be taken by the lender if the borrower fails to repay the loan ทรัพย์สินผูกพันตนเพื่อเอาไว้หักชำระหนี้หากไม่ชำระหนี้นั้น (See glossary)
flaws - a fault or defect (that makes something less useful) ข้อบกพร่อง

tackle - to make an organised and determined attempt to deal with a problem แก้ปัญหา, จัดการกับปัญหา
shakeup - a big change in the way something is organized and operates
replace - to get rid of someone or something and to put a new person or thing in their place หาคนมาแทน, เลิกให้และนำสิ่งใหม่มาใช้แทน
title - the position of a winner in a sports competition ตำแหน่งแชมป์
abuse - to use or treat someone or something wrongly or badly ใช้ในทางที่ผิด
plagued - caused a lot of problems for someone or something for a long period of time ทำให้ยุ่งยาก ลำบากมานาน
reform - a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป
loan - an amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank เงินกู้
ban - to officially say that someone is not allowed to do something ห้ามอย่างเป็นทางการ
ending up - in the final situation, after many events pass
in the hands of -
owned by 

policy - a plan of action to guide decisions and achieve outcomes, taken by government or business  นโยบาย (See Wikipedia)
intended - planned; wanted to happen ที่ได้วางแผนไว้ ที่ตั้งใจให้เกิดขึ้น
clear - easy to understand
stage - a part of an activity or process or a period of development ระยะ, ช่วง, ตอน, จังหวะเวลา
It is not clear at this stage... - at this point of time in the activity or project, it is still too early to know....
impose - to force someone to accept something กำหนด,บังคับ
impose restrictions - create new laws or rules to control some activity
deed - a written agreement signed in a formal way, usually for the sale of real estate or a house
encourage - to make someone more likely to do something, or to make something more likely to happen ปลุกใจ
encourage - cause someone to gain enthusiasm, motivation, and energy in what they are doing
default - fail to pay back loan on time
loan repayments - the amount of money that a borrower pays back to the bank each month (from the loan the bank gave them)
repossess - when the bank takes back real estate (home, land, building) after borrower fails to pay back loan

transferrable - changing the owner of the land is legal
mortgage - a bank loan for a home or apartment, to be paid back over many years 
Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives (BAAC) -
Thai government bank specialising in microfinance and banking for farming households (See website, a case study [pdf] at the FAO)
cooperative - a business owned and run by the workers or people involved (such as farmers) who work together (cooperate) and share the profits (See Wikipedia)
agricultural cooperative - when farmers join together to process, store, and market their crops (See Wikipedia)
attractive - worth having or doing
changed progressively - changed gradually in steps  
transformed - changed

deputy - the person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
talks - negotiations, formal discussions of problems between different sides in a conflict in order to solve the problem
launch - to start something เปิดโครงการ, เริ่มต้น, เริ่มทำ
upgrade - improved, made into something better
eligible - meet the conditions needed for doing something ซึ่งมีคุณสมบัติเหมาะสม
remained a sore point for - still something that caused problems for them (harmed them and made them "sore")
debate - a discussion or formal argument on an issue between people with different views (See Wikipedia)
exposed - made known; uncovered เปิดเยต่อ
alleged - claimed to be true although not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
irregularities - things that are not normal (and may indicate wrongdoing); actions that do not follow the rules, so perhaps dishonest
scheme - a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ
eventually - at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process ในที่สุด
collapse - (of people and business) to fail suddenly; to suddenly be unable to continue or work correctly ล้ม (ธุรกิจ)

(Source: Govt tackles land owners' 'system abuse', Sor Por Kor laws face major legal shakeup, 4/10/2010, Post Reporters, link

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