Property bill almost ready for voting

Updated: 2006-10-30 06:51

BEIJING -- After debating for five years, China's top legislative body believes the latest version of the landmark property bill is "relatively well-written" and suggests a quicker vote to pass it into law, a legislative report said.

Lawmakers with the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, or the national legislature, began on Sunday a penal discussion of the sixth version of property bill. Wu Bangguo, chairman of the committee, chaired the legislative session.

The report from the NPC Standing Committee provided to Xinhua said legislators "have achieved consensus on major issues and consider the draft is well-written."

Legislators think major provisions properly reflect the current economic development in China and have room for further improvement. They suggest the bill be delivered to voting at a full session of NPC as soon as possible, the report said.

The bill was first submitted to the legislature in 2002 and had gone through fifth readings. No laws have ever had more than five readings in the NPC's history.

The bill was withdrawn from the NPC's full session in March 2006 amid worries that such a law, the country's first to protect private ownership, could undermine China's socialist system if the rights of individuals superceded state right to care for the collective good.

Opposition faded after drafters revised the fifth version, debated last August, which put state ownership rights at the heart of the economic system.

The latest draft makes "the protection of state, collective, and private property" the main principle of the legislation process.