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Land bid plan announced in Shanghai
( 2003-08-21 07:12) (China Daily)

All land for business purposes in Shanghai will be put to public bidding as a regular move to build up an open, fair and just land market as announced by the Shanghai Municipal Housing, Land and Resources Administration.

Riverside Bund overlooking Shanghai's Pudong financial district [newsphoto.com.cn]

"The market shall only go in the direction to become more standard and transparent while we are perfecting and enhancing the supervision over the bidding procedure," said Tao Xiaoxing, deputy director of the administration.

Any backroom land leasing activity is forbidden as it will not benefit the public and will damage the image of the city, Tao said at a tendering promotion conference held in Shanghai Wednesday.

The city's real estate market was on edge in June after the property tycoon Zhou Zhengyi was held under investigation for possible bribery and obtaining land improperly from the local government.

Since then, the city has taken a firm grip of the land market in response to a call from the State Council.

All land leases and sales by district governments have now fallen under city supervision and two years of past deals have been rechecked to prevent improper land use.

Public supervision of the land use approval and public bidding procedure has also been proposed.

A supervision team headed by Sun Wensheng, vice-minister of of land resources has just finished a 10-day city-wide inspection of the local land market.

"The ministry confirmed Shanghai's efforts and expected more effective measures to regulate the market and rectify bad practices,'' Tao said.

The city government unveiled 21 plots of land scattered in 10 districts with the total area of 216 hectares for public bidding at the conference.

Two plots of land in Hongkou District are for urban redevelopment purposes. And such kind of land which used to be leased in a very confined scope will also open for public bidding from now on.

The land to relocate people whose former residences made room for major infrastructure projects will also invite favourable bidders.

Since the second half of this year, the city will regularly auction a batch of land, usually once every month.

Shanghai actually started allowing bids for its land in 1988. But the process was gradually distorted due to the lack of effective supervision.

As the State Council issued a notice about enhancing the management of land use and regulating all land for business purposes must invite public bidding in 2001, the city then enforced the practice.

On July 25, the city launched public bids for 38 pieces of land mainly for commercial residential purposes. And the results will be disclosed on September 29.

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