The State Council announced an eight-point plan Thursday aimed at controlling land use as part of a wider bid to curb property speculation and runaway investment. The new rules include increased compensation for evicted residents and a requirement for more land to be sold through auction. In a statement on the Ministry of Land and Resources website, the State Council said: "The increase in the amount of land used for construction is too rapid. The expansion of low-cost land for industry is excessive. Illegal use of land and the phenomenon of occupying farmland have been repeatedly allowed." The directive warns local governments that they must bear responsibility for the protection of farmland and gain higher approval for the conversion of farmland to other uses. Local governments have traditionally resisted existing rules to manage land use, but the State Council said it would step up inspections and punish those who violate the new rules.