A delegation of the Al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine attended a meeting convened by the General-Secretariat of the Iraqi Council of Ministers with those in charge of the holy shrines, in order to give them wide opportunities to develop and increase the size of their surrounding areas, in line with the unprecedented numbers of visitors who participate every year in the Zyarat of millions.
The Deputy Secretary-General of the Al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine; Engineer Basheer Mohammed Jassim, who represented the holy shrine accompanied by the advisor of the Secretary-General Mr. Talal Mohammed Ali Al-Beer, explained to Al-Kafeel Global Network the following:
"The meeting was headed by the Assistant Secretary-General of Ministries and provinces' affairs; Mr. Rahman Issa Hassan and was attended in addition to the delegation of the Al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine, delegations representing the holy shrines of Imam Ali, Imam Al-Hussayn and Imams Al-Jawad and Al-Kadhem (peace be upon them all) and the deputy head of the Shiite Endowment; Sheikh Sami Al-Mas'udi. This meeting is part of a series of meetings that will focus on how to increase the space surrounding the holy shrines by purchasing them according to the legal and legitimate procedures, and working together to find effective solutions to this issue."
He added: "The attendees stressed on the need to issue a decision or legislation that would give powers to ensure the development of the area surrounding the holy shrines, and to not allow to private companies or citizens to build in them randomly, which has a negative impact on the work of expropriation, on the movement of visitors and on the general appearance of the holy shrines. And to give the management of the holy shrines the authority to preserve its prestige and its sanctity in this sacred area, working on the creation of a governmental support for the development and the expansion of the surrounding areas in proportion to the increase of the population size and the growing numbers of visitors to these sacred places... The attendees have also agreed upon a set of decisions that will be discussed in subsequent meetings."
It is to note that the acquisition of lands and real estate surrounding the Al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine is done according to the directives of the supreme religious authority in Najaf consensually with the owners, giving additional time periods for shop owners to enable them to discharge their wares without force or coercion, and it is done officially and according to the legal contexts in accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers No 315 of 2009. The expropriation procedures are in accordance with the law of expropriation No.12 of 1981, which drew the acquisition mechanism of real estate and upon which the request of acquisition is presented to the Court of First Instance of the holy city of Karbala, especially that the acquisition law includes many encouraging actions, such as the exemption of the seller of land tax that varies between 3% to 6%, as well as the exemption from the transaction fee which is about 2.5%, in addition to the speed in the transaction procedures and the immediate appropriation without delay. All of which comes in order to create a state of comfort for the visitors during the performance of their worship acts.