Property law enters last legislative lap

By Zhu Zhe (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-12-26 08:59

The marathon legislative process of the country's property law finally appeared close to conclusion with legislators planning to submit it for voting at the next full session of the National People's Congress (NPC) in March.

If passed, it will be the first law to protect both public and private ownership.

The draft, discussed yesterday at the 25th session of the NPC's 10th Standing Committee for a record seventh time, emphasizes equal protection of State, collective and private property. No previous law has had more than five readings.

As part of the draft civil code, the property bill had its first reading in 2002 and was withdrawn from the NPC full session in March amid worries that the draft might undermine the legal foundation of the socialist system.

However, lawmakers yesterday agreed that the latest draft is better written and takes into account the concerns of various parties; and proposed a vote on Friday to decide whether to submit it to the next NPC full session. There was little opposition during the debate.

Hu Kangsheng, deputy director of the NPC Law Committee, said the draft law is "in the correct direction" and is based on ground realities.

He said the draft, based on the principle of equality, enhanced protection to State property, reflected the basic policy on rural issues and safeguarded the basic interests of the public.

"It solves realistic problems that need to be done so urgently," Hu said.

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