Introduction and History of the Ministry of Urban Development and Land

Reforming of the legal and organizational structures of government departments, for the purpose to develop relevant measures and to achieve a desirable situation is considered as one of the basic methods for reform of the administrative system, which provides ground for success in providing better services for the public of the country. With regard to such policies, ex Ministry of Urban Development and Housing - MUDH and ex Afghanistan Land Authority – ARAZI, has been merged on the bases of presidential decree no. 107 dated 10/09/2016, for the same mission under the name of the Ministry of Urban Development and Land – MUDL.

History of the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing - MUDH

The Ministry of Urban Development and Housing was founded in 1961 under the framework of the Ministry of Public Works with the name General Department of Urban Development, and then promoted to the General Directorate of Urban Development and Housing in 1966. Subsequently, it followed to work under the Ministry of Public Works as a profit making enterprise in the name of (Urban and Construction Projects Institute) and later renamed to the central Institute of Planning (project making) in 1965. Later on, it was promoted to the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing in 1993. In 2007 it was transferred to the Ministry of Urban Development, and in 2018 to the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing.

History of Afghanistan Land Authority - ARAZI

Since the beginning of 2001, the Afghan government has focused on regulating and managing land as means of collecting taxes, and in the past Ministries of Interior Affairs and Finance were responsible for carrying out these tasks, which were later transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture in 1978. In 1964, Cadaster and Property Directorates were created by the Ministry of Finance and resulted in the preparation of the first accurate office of land. The Director of Cadaster in 1974 was separated by a distinct decision by the Ministry of Finance and has merged with the General Directorate of Geodesy and Cartography, which led the Real Estate Administration not to have direct access to cadastral maps.

The Real Estate Agency in 1978, was transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture on the basis of the government’s economic policy. Afterward, land reform focused on the distribution of excess land to the poor and the needy people, based on the policy of the ruling government, the unusual cause that failed. The land reform process faced with obstacles in the year of 1992, and the administration of the real estate lost more employees and even the strong support of the ruling system. Then, in 2010, under the framework of the Ministry of Agriculture, irrigation and Livestock, the plan to improve land use effectively and increase state revenues for the direct lease of state-owned land to the private sector continued work and then in 1390 was renamed to Afghanistan Land Authority - ARAZI.

In accordance with resolution no. 11 dated 06/05/2013, the Afghanistan Land Authority was separated from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock as an independent budget authority. Subsequently, in 2016, according to the plan of the President of the country, the Directorate of Cadaster and then the Department of Geodesy and Cartography, was merged with the Afghanistan Land Authority in order to coordinate the activities and provide the same services.

Regarding the history and changes, developments of the above mentioned institutions from the point of view of the structural and legal responsibilities, the integration of Afghanistan Land Authority with the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing under the name of Ministry of Urban Development and Land – MUDL is considered to be the best government practice.

This merging in fact is updating the relevant Urban and Land Management structures and using many regional and international experiences in this field. Technically the majority of the duties and responsibilities of both entities, which were ratified in the laws of urban planning and regulation of land management, had no operational capability without coordination and perhaps more time spent on coordination and cooperation. By completing merging plan, the challenges have been resolved in terms of the basic structure, and the Ministry of Urban Development and Land - MUDL within the framework of government policies and laws, can achieve its strategic goals by implementing legally enforceable responsibilities and duties.