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Officials punished for illegal authorization of land use
Latest Updated by 2006-09-28 08:23:13

The CPC has disciplined two local leaders of central China's Henan Province for illegally authorizing the occupation and use of land, according to information from the executive meeting of the State Council on Wednesday.

The Standing Committee of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CPC) issued Li Xinmin, the secretary of the Political and Judiciary Committee of Henan provincial committee of the CPC, and Wang Wenchao, the party chief of the CPC city committee of Zhengzhou, with serious warnings.
Both are members of the Standing Committee of the Henan Provincial Committee of the CPC.

Li was the former vice-governor of Henan Province and Wang was the former mayor of Zhengzhou, capital of Henan.

The two were called to account for allowing the illegal expansion of a post secondary school campus on to farmland, even after they were ordered to stop.

Chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, the meeting of the State Council decided to circulate a notice to criticize the Henan Provincial government, and asked it to write a self-criticism letter to the State Council.

All those responsible for the case would face penalties, according to the information received from the meeting.

From 2003 to 2006, the Zhengzhou government and other institutions illegally authorized the seizure of 14,877 mu (991.8 hectares) of collectively-owned land for the construction of a campus area.

The Ministry of Land and Resources investigated the case in 2005 and instructed the local government to stop its illegal behaviour.
However, the Zhengzhou government continued to expand the illegal occupation.

This case seriously violated national land use policies, according to the meeting of the State Council.

The meeting concluded that the Henan provincial and Zhengzhou local governments should be held responsible.

The Henan Provincial government was found to be derelict in its duty to carry out central government policy to regulate and standardize the land market and tighten land supply.

The local government of Zhengzhou illegally made the decision to occupy the land and other local institutions illegally executed the decision, said the information from the meeting.

The meeting required officials at all levels to learn from recent cases of illegal land use and to operate the land management system to the letter.

The cabinet announced a series of measures this month to rein in rampant illegal land use, restricting the transfer of farmland for construction to curb an overheating economy.

A State Council notice said the onus of scrutiny of land use lies with provincial governments, which must submit cases to the State Council for approval on an annual basis.

Local leaders will be penalized if they fail to stop or investigate land use transgressions. Officials who violate land supply rules face disciplinary action and prosecution, said the notice.

The notice also banned the leasing of land from farmers for construction and detailed the protection of the interests of farmers.

Reining in local governments is a major goal of the new policy, as "they are actually behind almost all major cases of illegal land use", said Zhang Xinbao, a senior official with the MLR, earlier this month.

China's economy grew 10.9 percent in the first half of this year on the back of a 30-percent growth in fixed asset investment. The government believes that illegal land supply is a leading cause of runaway investment.

A survey of 16 cities by the MLR last year showed that nearly 50 percent of new land under development was acquired illegally.
Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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