Draft property law tabled for 6th reading
Updated: 2006-10-20 21:44
China's controversial draft property law, a sweeping bill designed to protect
both public and private ownership, is about to be submitted to the country's top
legislature for the sixth time.
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) will convene
next Friday for a five-day regular legislative session. Sources close to the NPC
on Friday said the draft property law would be a key issue on the agenda.
The draft was first submitted to the legislature in 2002 and has gone through
a rare fifth reading. It was withdrawn from the NPC full session in March amid
worries that the draft, the country's first specific law to protect private
ownership, could undermine the legal foundation of China's socialist system.
But opposition faded after drafters revised the fifth version in August to
install state ownership at the heart of the economic system.
Drafters said that, in the Chinese context, the primary concern in making a
property law is to comprehensively and accurately reflect China's economic
system in which public ownership plays a dominant role and diverse forms of
ownership develop side by side
Lawmakers on the NPC Standing Committee appeared to have achieved an
ideological consensus on the draft, and the debate moved on to specific issues
such as the ownership of parking spaces, the transfer of rural housing, and the
law's coverage of rivers and oceans.
During the process lawmakers have collected more than 15,000 suggestions from
the general public, who have showed enormous interest in the draft law.
It is hoped that the marathon legislative process will end next March with a
vote by the full NPC session.