[photopress:Land.jpg,full,alignright]In the latest issue of People’s Tribune there is an article by Zhu Lijia, the director responsible for public administration research at the China National School of Administration makes the point that land transactions and corrupt Chinese officials often go hand in hand.
Zhu Lijia said, ‘We must not underestimate the harm caused by corrupt land transactions.’
Land resource experts believe the loss of earnings from corrupt land transactions is at least 10 billion RMB (US1.25 billion) a year.
The central government has adopted several policies in an endeavor to strengthen land transaction supervision.
In October 2004, the State Council issued new land administration regulations.
In January 2005, the central government issued guidelines on combating corruption, stipulating open bidding on construction projects and intensifying the supervision of land transactions.
In July 2006, two more documents were issued regarding bids for state-owned land and transfer of ownership of state-owned land.
Zhu Lijia said, ‘Regardless of these rules and regulations, local governments or some local officials still colluded with businessmen on land deals.’
Despite the rules on open bidding, public bidding accounted for only 14.57 percent of land ownership transfers in 2002. The figures rose to 26.81 percent, 28.86 percent and 35.06 percent in 2003, 2004 and 2005, but that still means that two thirds of land is transferred far from public scrutiny.
Linghu An, deputy head of the National Audit Office said China will boost inspection of land transactions and launch a full-scale onslaught on corruption arising from land transfers. To curb corruption arising from land transactions, we must implement central government policies more forcefully. He stressed that ‘implementation of the policies needs to be supervised by the people’s congress, the media and local people, or else the policies will have no effect.’