Compensation to be increased
Authorities will boost eviction compensation in an effort to stem rising discontent and head off protests nationwide over government-led land requisitions, Xinhua reported. The regulation, expected to be adopted this year, was aimed at protecting the lawful rights of peasants who were evicted, the report said.
In a circular issued by the Ministry of Land and Resources, local authorities are urged to recalculate the price of farmland according to local economic development, what the requisitioned land is being used for and its productivity.
The report said the new system was expected to afford better protection for the rights of relocated farmers and to preserve their standard of living. 'Disputes over land requisition, relocation and compensation are expected to be reduced,' it added. However, legal experts and internet commentators cast doubt on the effectiveness of the measures, which were played up by state media as an illustration of Beijing's efforts to quell social unrest.
'How can it be fair to those farmers who don't even have the right to say no to government-led requisition?' asked a chat room participant on sina.com. Peking University law professor He Weifang said: '[Raising compensation] will not alter who decides the land prices and how much money should be paid for eviction.'
Without checks and balances in the decision-making process, the root cause of the land disputes would remain, said Professor He.