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Official: Reform land acquisition system
By Zhao Huanxin (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-03-09 06:09

Farmers should have more say in the use of massive amounts of funds allocated for rural revival, a top planner said yesterday.

Du Ying answers questions from reporters at a press conference in Beijing March 8, 2006. [newsphoto]
The land acquisition system must also be reformed so that the interests of rural residents are better protected, said Vice-Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission Du Ying.

It will be much better if the process of fund use is open, and farmers have the right to know, supervise, and make decisions, Du said.

He was speaking at a press briefing on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the National People's Congress, where senior officials explained how a "new socialist countryside" would be built through a huge increase in budgetary support and warned that corruption will not be tolerated.

"The requisition and acquisition of farmland at low prices is hurting farmers' interests, which shows our current rural land requisition system has not adjusted to the demands of the times there must be reform," Du said.

He revealed some departments have been conducting "in-depth research" in recent years on a reform plan.

The basic guideline is to distinguish the purposes of land requisition and acquisition. If the land is taken for public purposes, the compensation levels must be raised; if it is for commercial development, "market mechanisms" must come into play, he said.
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