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Lawmakers to Vote on Landmark Property Law
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China's landmark property law, which grants equal protection to state and private properties, is getting closer to approval as a revised draft was put to lawmakers for final deliberation.


The decision was made at a presidium meeting of the Fifth Session of the Tenth National People's Congress (NPC) Thursday morning.


The draft property law has been deliberated by nearly 3,000 lawmakers at the NPC annual session since March 8. The NPC Law Committee then made more than 60 revisions to the draft according to the opinions of NPC deputies and tabled the revised draft to lawmakers for further deliberation on March 13.


Yang Jingyu, chairman of the Law Committee, told the presidium meeting that the majority of lawmakers agreed that the revised draft was "practicable" and should be put for voting.


Some legislators suggested further revisions, some of which were adopted into the latest draft after careful studies, said Yang.


Yang said the draft further clarified the ownership of wild animals and botanic resources and the use of land for construction in accordance with suggestions from the lawmakers.


As part of the draft civil code, the draft property law was submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for the first review in 2002 after nearly 10 years of preparations.


After an unprecedented seven times of reading, the NPC Standing Committee decided last December to put it for voting at the Fifth Session of the Tenth NPC, believing that the draft "represented a crystallization of the wisdom of the collective and was about to be mature".


The presidium meeting also agreed that a revised draft of the enterprise income tax law, which puts domestic and foreign-funded enterprises on an equal footing for income taxes, should also be put for final deliberation by the lawmakers.


Revisions in the latest version of the draft were mainly made to avoid misinterpretations and ambiguity, according to Yang.


Currently, the actual average income tax burden on Chinese companies is 25 percent, while that on foreign enterprises is 15 percent. The draft sets a new tax rate of 25 percent for both.


Also tabled for final deliberation by lawmakers are draft resolutions on the work report of the NPC Standing Committee, the election of the deputies to the 11th NPC and the work reports of the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, according to decisions made by the presidium meeting.


The presidium meeting was presided over by Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Tenth NPC Standing Committee.


(Xinhua News Agency March 15, 2007)


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