Illegal land use in cross hairs of new nationwide scheme

By Wu Jiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-02-02 08:50

Inspectors will be stationed in every province of the country as part of a pilot scheme launched by the land ministry to curb illegal land acquisitions involving local authorities.

Gan Zangchun, deputy minister and deputy State land inspector-general of the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR), told a conference on Friday the inspectors will be dispatched nationwide.

Their project is part of the ministry's efforts to improve the land regulatory inspection system established last year, which consists of nine regional bureaus that answer directly to the MLR.

Dong Zuoji, head of the Chengdu bureau, said: "The introduction of the provincial inspectors will provide a more solid grounding for the regulatory system, with deeper inspections made in every province."

The nine regional bureaus, which are responsible for all land use within their jurisdictions, are in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Nanjing, Jinan, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu and Xi'an.

Although the new inspectors will be under the supervision of the regional bureaus, they will also have independence and be accountable for their own efficiency, Dong said.

Officials at Friday's conference said the regional inspection system has proved its effectiveness over the past year, as the number of land violation cases had declined significantly.

Zhang Naigui, the Shanghai bureau chief, said the number of cases reported in the first half of last year was down 60 percent on the same period in 2006. Almost no cases were reported in the second half of last year, he said.

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