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Draft amendment to settle land disputes (4)

(China Daily)

09:21, December 25, 2012

He said land seizure differs from ordinary land deals in the market, since it is often conducted compulsorily and even against the will of farmers, so the compensation should be higher than market prices.

The annual output of a piece of land may only be thousands of yuan, but its price could multiply hundreds of times when being sold out to developers due to potential commercial values, he said.

China established its current land administration system in 1998, when lawmakers unanimously approved an amendment to the Land Administration Law.

The law puts land into three major categories — rural, constructive and unused — and one of the key features of the system recognizes governments as the only decision-maker who can convert rural land into urban constructive use.

Although the initial purpose of the system is to strictly protect arable land and ensure land supply for construction, the system has been widely criticized as giving way to corruption and abuse of power.

Jiang said the draft clears the way for a long-awaited regulation, which is expected to offer details about better compensation and resettlement for landless farmers.

"The regulation will come out before March," he predicted, "before the central government is expected to step down."

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