Xinhua News Agency

Unlawful land sales rampant

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 February, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 February, 2003, 12:00am

The sale of land in China remains chaotic and many transactions violate the government's regulations, Minister of Land and Natural Resources Tian Fengshan said yesterday.

'[We'll face] a serious waste of resources as well as corruption if these problems are left unchecked,' Xinhua quoted him as saying. 'These problems impede the healthy development of our land market.'

The minister said the rampant violation of the rules became obvious when examining pictures of major cities taken with remote sensing technology.

He said the pictures showed that land sales in recent years had far exceeded the central government's plans. Moreover, sales often violated proper government procedures.

Quoting information provided by the ministry, Xinhua said a large number of transactions had not been handled properly, and hinted at corruption.

'Land which should have been sold entered the market through allocation,' Xinhua said.

'Plots that should have been sold by public auction instead changed hands privately through negotiating prices. Revenue was lost because land that should have been allocated by the government or belonged to the state has entered the grey market illegally through underground channels,' it said.