China / Government

Chinese lawmakers pave way for rural land use pilot program

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-02-27 21:33

BEIJING - Lawmakers on Friday gave the greenlight to eased land-use rules in selected areas, which will help the implementation of rural land reform pilot projects.

Legislators at a bi-monthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee suspended a number of provisions in the Law on Land Management, and the Law on Urban Real Estate Administration in selected cities, counties and districts.

In the 33 chosen localities - including Daxing district, Beijing; Songjiang district, Shanghai; and Quxu county, Tibet autonomous region - rural construction land will enjoy the same rights and market price as state-owned construction land.

The right of use for existing collectively-owned rural construction land can now be transferred, leased and traded for shares, the decision read.

In addition, the authority to approve residential construction on rural land will be delegated to lower levels: Townships can now approve the use of existing construction land, while counties have the power to approve the use of new construction land.

Compensation, housing and social insurance must now be properly arranged for farmers whose land is expropriated, and authorities must provide training, pensions and medical care for eligible farmers.

According to the decision, the pilot programs will run until the end of 2017.

The measures must be carried out on the condition that public ownership of land does not change, the "red-line" minimum of arable land was not breached and farmers' rights were not undermined.

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