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China to amend land law in favour of farmers

Beijing, China: China drafted an amendment in its land management law. Through the amendment, China aims to protect farmers’ interests in land expropriations. Recently, a report by the Environmental Protection and Resources Conservation Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), notified that it is urgent to reform and standardise land expropriation practices and transfers of land-use rights over collectively-owned land (in rural areas), as the current version of the law has been proven outdated.
The report was submitted to the NPC’s Standing Committee. It came just days after Premier Wen Jiabao’s speech at the annual central conference on rural work. 
“Farmers enjoy the legal rights of land contracts, land use and collective income distribution as basic protections,” Wen said, adding that “no one is empowered to deprive them of these rights.”
Wen also noted that the key to reforms in expropriating collectively-owned land lies in safeguarding farmers’ gains from land value increment revenue and China can “no longer sacrifice its farmers’ land property rights to reduce the costs of urbanization and industrialization.”
Under China’s existing land ownership structure, rural collectives own the land. The collective, often a village committee, distributes land-use rights to households in 30-year “household management” contracts.