The State Council, or China's cabinet, has rejected almost 32 percent of the urban construction applications for 2007 amid efforts to curb the growth of energy-intensive, polluting industries.
The rejections covered 31.81 percent of the land area filed for approvals by cities nationwide this year, the Ministry of Land and Resources said on Wednesday. It did not give any further breakdown.
The ministry said that of projects approved, 39.14 percent of the land involved was for housing, 24.56 percent for infrastructure, 18.23 percent for public buildings and 17.34 for industrial facilities such as factories and warehouses.
It urged local authorities to compensate farmers in a timely manner and maintain their living standards at levels no lower than before any land acquisition.
It also called on local governments to rein in land approvals for any projects involving polluting, energy-intensive and resources industries.
The rejection of such applications has slowed the decline in farmlands, which have been shrinking in many regions due to urbanization.
Approvals for cities' use of farmland declined 17.13 percent from 2006, the ministry added.