The tough draft law was discussed for the first time yesterday by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC. It would mean that developments without planning permits or deviating from approved plans will be stopped and the builders fined between 5 and 10% of the project’s budget.
If developers refuse to halt construction, local governments will have the power to close down the building site and demolish the partly-built development.
Minister of Construction Wang Guangtao, seen above, said that one of its main aims is to prevent developers from recklessly violating approved plans. He said, ‘Punishing these planning violations has long been a headache because of the lack of clear laws and regulations. This time, we made it clear.’
The draft law could also be used to prevent local governments from changing plans frequently. Under the law, plans could be changed if a higher-level plan is changed, or if the State Council approves major construction projects nearby and existing plans need changing to adapt to it.
In some circumstances other higher-level governments will also be able to revise plans. Government officials who refuse to adhere to the law would face personal punishments such as being removed from their posts.
The NPC Standing Committee will continue to discuss the draft law.