[photopress:real_estate_shanghai.jpg,full,alignright]The Chinese government has ordered a scrutiny of all the land sales which occurred from January 1, 2005 to Dec. 31, 2007, to spot and deal with unlawful behavior and to prevent and curb corruption.
The Ministry of Supervision, Ministry of Land Resources, Ministry of Construction, Ministry of Finance and the National Audit Office jointly issued a circular saying that the massive campaign will be launched soon and completed in six months.
That it will find a lot of iffy deals there is no doubt. That would be true in any country in the world. In a nation as large as China which is expanding at a rate which breaks all sorts of world records, then there must have been some less than legal deals. Probably quite a lot. It could not have been otherwise.
The circular said the scrutiny will mainly focus on whether land, which should have been sold through public bidding, was randomly allocated by local governments and if the land sale pricing was reasonable. It will also look at whether he revenue and expenditure of land transfer is in line with laws and regulations and if legally acquired land was eventually used for purposes other than approved.
Finding all of this out should not be too great a problem. The problem arises after the information has been gathered. How to handle it.
The circular requires supervisory bodies at all levels to deal harshly deal with illegal behavior with a focus on the misdeed of transferring land at low prices and money-for-favor deals.
The circular says all the culprits shall be dealt with according to administrative rules, party regulations and the laws. Then it will be a very busy six months. Complicated, messy and hard work. But the circular puts forward two solid reasons why it must be done:
Land sale is regarded as one of the areas most prone to corruption in China, where all the lands are owned by the state.
Land supply is a critical part of the government’s macro control policies.
Source: China View