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: China tightens rules on industrial land use: report



From: Reuters
Published February 15, 2008 07:41 AM

China tightens rules on industrial land use: report

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has tightened rules on industrial land use, state news agency Xinhua said on Friday, as part of a broader effort to control the rampant development of farmland for non-agricultural purposes.

The new rules issued by the Ministry of Land and Resources are effective immediately and limit administrative and living areas of industrial land to a maximum 7 percent of the total area in any given development project, Xinhua said.

In addition, land zoned for industrial use cannot include residential areas, hotels, training centers or other non-manufacturing facilities, said the agency.

In December, China sharply raised taxes on the use of arable land for building homes and other non-agricultural purposes in order to protect relatively scarce farmland from being commercially developed.

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About 80 percent of all cases of illegal use of land -- which in China is ultimately owned by the state -- involve houses built in the countryside, often involving local authorities, the government has said.

China, with a fifth of the world's population but only 7 percent of its arable land, has drawn a line in the sand to ensure a minimum 120 million hectares of arable land remain dedicated to producing food for its people.

However, the country has been losing farmland to real estate development as its economy booms.

(Reporting by Kirby Chien and Langi Chiang; Editing by David Holmes)

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