Tighter controls will be imposed on the land supply to hold back rampant investment in new infrastructure and industrial projects, the State Council has ruled. The clampdown, which was decided upon by Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday but only made public by state media Thursday, will include measures to boost compensation payments to farmers whose land is used for development projects. Higher fees will also be imposed on land use transactions to prevent illegal land use while local government officials will face stricter penalties for involvement in illegal land grabs. Despite central government directives to protect farmland, local officials have frequently broken the rules in order to secure lucrative foreign investment in their regions. According to state media reports, 12,241.7 hectares of rural land was illegally converted to non-agricultural use in the first five months of 2006, up 20% on the same period last year.