Cheap sale of flats stopped
CHINA has banned the sale of state-owned flats at excessively low prices to stop the drain of state assets, official media reported yesterday.
A directive issued by the State Council ordered all regions and departments to strengthen their grip on housing reform.
A full-scale survey on the sale of government-owned flats should be conducted as soon as possible to help assess the seriousness of the malpractices, Xinhua (the New China News Agency) quoted the directive as saying.
The findings should be reported to the high-powered leading group under the State Council on housing reform, it said.
Some regional authorities and state-owned enterprises have sold the state-owned flats at a lower price to get quick cash for other uses.
This has resulted in massive loss of state assets, it is understood.
Beijing officials have warned that such malpractices are detrimental to the country's housing reform and would give rise to unhealthy trends such as corruption.
The State Council directive says any sale of state-owned flats should be halted immediately before the implementation of a set of measures to speed up reform of the housing system this year.
Anyone who violated the government directive would be severely punished, it said.
The directive said the documentation process of deals on the sale of state-owned flats whose prices were below those laid down under government requirements should be stopped immediately.
On completed deals, it said the relevant parties should hold discussions with the state authorities on how to handle the matter so as to make it comply with the State Council requirements.
It is unclear whether buyers would be required to pay extra.
Xinhua said the revenue generated from the sale of government-owned flats should be frozen immediately, pending instructions from the State Council.
The relevant parties and officials in charge would have to take responsibility for any violations in the use of the revenue.