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Beijing cracks down on hoarding of land

(BEIJING) China took aim yesterday at real estate developers that hoard land in the latest government initiative to increase the supply of housing and curb property inflation.

Land acquired from local governments that goes undeveloped for more than a year will be subject to an ‘idle land charge’ of 20 per cent of the purchase price, according to a notice on the central government portal http://www.gov.cn.

If the land has not been developed after two years, ownership will revert to local governments, the statement said.

Compensation is not guaranteed.

The notice, which extends nationwide policies that are already being pursued in some Chinese cities, requires local governments to report to Beijing by the end of June on the progress they have made in stamping out land hoarding.

Beijing has vowed to improve land use efficiency so that it can sustain its economic growth. China’s economy was forecast to expand by about 11.5 per cent in 2007.

The government has also pledged to keep at least 120 million hectares of arable land so it can feed the country’s 1.3 billion population. China is facing increasing difficulties in feeding its people, partly due to the widespread conversion of its farming areas into industrial zones and residential areas, as well as the impact of global warming.

‘(Saving land) is related to the survival of our nation and the long-term interests of the state,’ the notice said .

 

Source: Reuters (Business Times 8 Jan 08)

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