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Land use payments suggested by draft law

A NEW draft amendment to the land management laws might see home owners paying for the
use of the land their homes stand on after the current 70-year contracts expire.
The Ministry of Land and Resources has circulated amendments to local land authorities
for review, the Oriental Morning Post reported today.
It is the fourth amendment to the Land Management Law, which was enacted in 1986. The
draft now under review is the second version. The ministry will submit the draft's
second version to the country's lawmaker, Chinese People's Congress, for approval as
early as the first half of year, the report quoted an unnamed ministry official as
The amendment in the first version had suggested that the use of land on which homes
stand would remain free. But the second version says that the use of the land will be
renewed according to the country's regulations. This means owners may have to pay if
the country introduces these regulations, experts said.
At present the law says home owners are entitled to 70 years' use of the residential
land. It doesn't say if they will be charged or not for using the land beyond that
If the new amendment is approved and a renewal charge is introduced, the rates may vary
widely nationally, real estate experts said. The rate in Beijing, for example, may be
set at 1,300 yuan (US$190.27) per square meter, industry insiders said.
Altogether 49 amendments are made to the law in the second draft version, involving
changes to farmland transfers, land ownership and land use, the Oriental Morning Post
report said.
Under the proposed regulations owners will have to pay for the use of non-residential
land after the land contracts have expired and they must submit the application for the
renewal one year before the date is due.
Under the changes the government will also be able to take back land free of charge if
the land is for public use. Compensation will be paid for buildings and facilities
above the ground.


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