BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature on Monday adopted a revision to the land administration law to clarify land property rights, improve administration and regulate government land requisition.
The registration of ownership and use right of the land, including the land owned by a rural community, should follow the same law and administrative regulations applied on the registration of real estate, according to the revised law, adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress at its bimonthly session.
The revision included a new paragraph stressing that legally-registered ownership and use rights of the land are protected by law and should not be infringed by any organization or individual.
Since the country adopted the household responsibility system in the early 1980s, the property rights of rural farmland have been divided into two layers: the ownership right that is collectively owned by a rural community, normally a village, and the use right, which is held by an individual household that contracts a piece of farmland from the village.
While the existing law only stated that a farmland use contract is valid for 30 years, the revised law further clarified that the contract can be extended for another 30 years upon expiry. It also stipulated that a use right contract for the grassland will last 30 to 50 years and that for the forest land will be 30 to 70 years.
The revision enhanced protection of basic arable land. It stated that no organization or individual should take up the farming land or put it into other use without permission. It will require a State Council approval to expropriate the farming land for the use of major infrastructure projects, according to the revision.
As a move to improve the transparency of land requisition, the revised law clarified how the government should inform and consult local communities about requisition plans.
County governments and above should publish in detail their plans for expropriating certain tracts of rural land in local townships and villages for at least 30 days.
The authorities should also listen to the opinions of the local community involved in a requisition plan and, if the majority of the members consider the plan to violate laws or administrative regulations, they should hold hearings and revise the plan in accordance with the laws and the results of the hearings.
The revised law also encouraged rural communities to make better use of deserted land that is reserved for residential use as well as vacant houses.
The revised law has gone through three readings since the first one in December last year.
Also adopted was the revised law on urban real estate administration, which was to be aligned with the revised land administration law.