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Closing gap between haves and have-nots
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-17 07:12

Lu worked as a co-ordinator of the writing team of the report since last June.

The report, commissioned by UNDP China and nationally co-ordinated by the China Development Research Foundation, results from nine background reports on different topics, which were hammered out by a team of 13 think-tank researchers since last June. The writing team was supervised by a high-ranking advisory group co-chaired by Malik and Wang Mengkui, president of the Development Research Centre of the State Council.

"Inequity is evident and concrete help should be immediately granted to those in the lower level of the social ladder," said the report's lead author Li Shi, professor from Beijing Normal University.

Landless farmers need help

The report has paid great attention to farmers who had lost land to real estate development, industrial zones and other uses. Official statistics indicated that at least 40 million farmers have lost their land upon which their basic living depends. "The country should start from law-making and the legal system to ensure basic living necessities, social security benefits and ample compensation for those farmers," the report said.

The report urges the local governments to speed up the establishment of systems used to work out land values when requisitioning farmers' land. It said the compensation for farmland requisitioned by the State for major construction projects should also be increased.

The types and quality of arable land, farmers' input, as well as the prices of primary products are to be taken into account when deciding the value of average annual output. The compensation sum should also give consideration to the local economic situation, people's living standards and other social security demands, according to the report.

The central government also made public compensation standards, which were promised to pay farmers at most 30 times the value of the average annual output of the arable land over the previous three years.

"China should make a larger attempt to solve the lingering problems of farmers whose land was inadequately or randomly compensated in the past, and I am sure it will," Malik said.
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