China vows strictest measure against illegal land use

December 3rd, 2008 - 5:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Dec 3 (Xinhua) China has vowed strictest measures against illegal land use as the government’s economic stimulus package to build infrastructure is expected to boost land demand. Lu Xinshe, deputy minister of land and resources, told reporters here Wednesday that diversion of arable land to non-farming purposes would be allowed only after an equal area of land is allocated to agricultural use.

The ministry would intensify supervision of land use to ensure against illegal diversion of land, Lu said, and added that people responsible would be punished.

The four-trillion-yuan ($584 billion) stimulus package announced early last month, included massive projects to build low-income housing units, improve rural infrastructure, electricity supply and transport networks.

The ministry would try to ensure land supply matched the stimulus package while maintaining effective control and management to guarantee the target of arable land protection, Lu said.

China had 121.7 million ha of arable land last year. It aims to keep its arable land at 121 million ha by 2010 and no less than 120 million ha by 2020.

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