Foreign investors to get clearances for land within 20 days

Muscat: Under the new Foreign Capital Investment Law, the decision on the application for land allocation will be taken within 20 days.

This was mentioned by Mohammed bin Rashid bin Muhammad al Badi, Acting Director of the Legal Department at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) while releasing the executive regulations on Sunday.

The allocation of lands and real estate required for the investment project, will be by way of a long-term lease or by granting the right to use. The application for allocation will be submitted to the competent authority on the prescribed form accompanied by the required documents and information.

The application must indicate the purpose of using the land or real estate, required space, proposed location. The application will not have any legal rights and the competent authority would lease or grant the right to use after studying the application, Al Badi said.

The competent authority will make a decision on the application in a period not exceeding 20 working days from the date of its submission.

“In case, no response comes and the time lapses, it would mean that the application has been rejected. In all cases, the refusal of the application must be justified by the competent authority,” the official said.

In the case of approval of the application, the period of the lease or use of lands or real estate designated for the investment project will be 50 years which will be renewable with the approval of the concerned authority related to leasing or granting the right to use, and according to the agreed terms, provided the foreign investor continues his activity.

In all cases, the competent authority may increase the rental value or the right of usufruct when renewing the lease period or usufruct.”

The foreign investor is prohibited from using the land or real estate designated for the investment project for the purpose other than that for which it was given.

He may change the purpose stipulated in the lease or usufruct contracts if the nature of the land or property and its location allows it, provided that there is the approval of both the competent authority and the authority concerned with leasing or granting the right to usufruct obtained.

The contract of the lease or use of the land or real estate designated for the investment project cannot be terminated except after the approval of the competent authority.

In all cases, the termination decision must be justified, and the foreign investor must be given notice in a period of not more than 15 days before the announcement of the decision, said Al Badi.