The president on Wednesday signed a bill aiming to speed up transport, water and energy infrastructure projects under which the state will be able to increase the estimated price of agricultural and forest land for road and motorway construction up to sixteen-fold. The bill should able the state to more quickly reach deals with landowners by being able to compensate them more generously for their property. In the past, the Czech Republic saw the building of new infrastructure halted for years as landowners held out for better deals – a case in point being the halting of the D11 highway to Hradec Králové.
Owners who decide to sell agricultural land stand to receive 535 crowns per square metre as a bonus on top of the price set by specialists. Now they get double the estimated price, between eight and 35 crowns per square metre of agricultural land. The amendment to the law on agriculture, including the law on the State Agricultural Intervention Fund, corresponds with changes to the Common Agricultural Policy and also modifies land use and registration, Mr Zeman's spokesman Jiri Ovčáček said.