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Measure to combat hoarding of land
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The latest State measure to curb land hoarding was released by several ministries on Monday.

The biggest change requires government land reserve agencies to clarify relevant ownership issues by unifying land-use rights and properly compensate the relocated before land is commandeered, said the document jointly released by the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR), the Ministry of Finance and the People's Bank of China.

According to the new measure, these agencies are responsible for the land's preparatory development, including construction of infrastructure such as road, communication, water, electricity, gas and lighting systems, in addition to land leveling.

"Developers were given raw land in the past. Under the new measure, their reasons for development delays - major government interference and preparatory work - will no longer be valid," said Wang Xiaoying, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Rural Development Institute.

The document's release marks the newest regulatory effort to increase housing supply by reducing real estate developers' capacities to stockpile land.

Earlier this year, the MLR specified for the first time that developers would be given a period of three years for every construction project and would be fined for delays.

In addition, it limited the scale of land transfers to encourage more small- and medium-sized real estate firms to join the competition to prevent land monopolies, said a source with the ministry.

(China Daily December 5, 2007)

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