Mainland authorities are considering how much land to make available, and for what uses, in the coming decade.
The Ministry of Land and Resources was drafting changes to a 1986 decree on land use which, if adopted, would determine how much could be used for specific purposes, the 21st Century Business Herald reported yesterday.
The ministry also pledged to crack down on 'blind construction and expansion of development zones' by putting industrial land under stricter surveillance.
The amendment is also expected to solve the controversial issue of compensating farmers for land put to urban use. The newspaper, citing a ministry official, said 'more accurate' land compensation calculations based on the site's location, quality, usage and even 'auction price' would be used, rather than calculations based on how much grain the land could yield.
Meanwhile, controls over the supply of land for new homes would be further tightened, it said. More land for low-cost and subsidised housing would be made available, but controls on land for high-end homes would be tightened and none would be made available for building villas.
An expert said that even if the guidelines were approved, the Ministry of Construction and local governments might hamper their implementation.
Lina Wang, deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' finance research centre, said: 'The [land] ministry has a satellite monitoring land and staff overseeing projects on the ground, but it has prevented local governments infringing on the plan. Those who stay closest to land resources have the biggest say in their disposal.'