Amending the Law to Protect Farmers' Land Rights: Only Addition and No Subtraction
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has made decision-making arrangements, and the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress has made three authorization decisions to actively and steadily advance the pilot work of rural land system reform. In order to promote the Party Central Committee ’s decision on rural land system reform and the successful experience of the pilot into law, on the morning of August 26, 2019, the twelfth meeting of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People ’s Congress passed the amendments to the Land Management Law and Urban Real Estate. Decision of management law.
The newly revised land management law adheres to the basic principle and important goal of protecting the interests of farmers, defines the basic protection system for permanent farmland, allows collectively-operated construction land to enter the city, and clarifies that the country must establish a land and space planning system. On bases and other issues that are directly related to the interests of farmers, only addition and not subtraction are done.
A “centering pill” for the land rights of hundreds of millions of farmers
Land is the lifeblood of farmers. The state protects rural land contractual relations in a stable and permanent manner according to law. On December 29, 2018, the 7th Session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress adopted a decision on amending the Rural Land Contract Law: the contract period for cultivated land is 30 years, and it will be extended for another 30 years after the expiry.
The newly revised Land Management Law also stipulates this, specifying that the contract period of farmland contracted by households is 30 years, the contract period of grasslands is 30 years to 50 years, and the contract period of forest land is 30 years to 70 years. After the expiry of the contractual period of cultivated land, it will be extended for another 30 years. After the expiry of the contractual period of grassland and forest land, it will be extended accordingly.
In February 2019, the No. 1 document issued by the Central Government clearly stated that "the red line of 1.8 billion acres of arable land should be strictly observed, and the special protection system for permanent basic farmland should be fully implemented to ensure that permanent basic farmland remains above 1.546 billion acres."
The newly revised Land Management Law clearly states that "the state implements a permanent basic farmland protection system" and specifies five types of cultivated land that should be classified as permanent basic farmland in accordance with the overall land use planning. At the same time, it is stipulated that permanent basic farmland should be implemented on the plot and incorporated into the national permanent basic farmland database for strict management. The township (town) people's government should announce to the society the location and scope of permanent basic farmland and set up protection signs. After the permanent basic farmland is delineated according to law, no unit or individual may occupy or change its use without authorization.
In addition, in order to ensure the quality of cultivated land, the newly revised land management law has added the requirement of "guidance of crop rotation and fallow cultivation according to local conditions".
The original living standards of the land-expropriated farmers will not be reduced, and their long-term livelihood will be guaranteed
Land expropriation is related to the vital interests of farmers, and has received much attention in the process of law revision. On the morning of August 26th, at a press conference held by the General Office of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Wei Lihua, director of the Law and Regulation Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources, stated that the newly revised land management law has improved land acquisition accordingly.
First, the public interest in land acquisition was clearly defined for the first time. "Because the original Constitution and the Land Management Law both stipulated that the state can requisition land for the needs of the public interest, but what is public interest? There have been no clear legal provisions for a long time." Wei Lihua said that this time based on the summary of the pilot experience, the listed The method clearly defines for which public interest the state's right of collection can be used. Secondly, it is the first time that the Land Management Law clearly clarified that the basic principle of compensation for land expropriation is to ensure that the original living standards of the land-expropriated farmers will not be reduced and that their long-term livelihood is guaranteed. Third, the land acquisition procedures have been improved, and the original post-approval announcement has been changed to a pre-approval announcement. If necessary, a hearing on the land acquisition compensation and resettlement plan must be held, so that the land-expropriated farmers have more participation, supervision and The right to speak.
Increase farmers' income and allow collectively-owned construction land to enter the market
The newly revised land management law has removed the legal barriers for rural collective construction land to enter the market. In the past, the transfer and leasing of rural collective-owned construction land has been restricted. The newly revised Land Management Law clearly stipulates that the general land use planning and urban-rural planning are determined as industrial, commercial and other operating purposes, and collectively-operated construction land that has been registered in accordance with the law. Or personal use. At the same time, it is proposed that the transfer, lease, etc. of collectively-owned construction land shall be subject to the consent of more than two-thirds of the members of the villagers' meeting of the members of the collective economic organization or representatives of more than two-thirds of the villagers.
Wei Lihua said that the entry of collectively-owned construction land into the market is the biggest highlight of the amendment to the Land Management Law. "This is a major institutional innovation of the Land Management Law. It has cancelled the dual system of collective construction land that cannot directly enter the market for many years. Urban-rural integration has removed institutional barriers. "Yang Heqing, deputy director of the Economic Law Office of the Legal Working Committee of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, said that entering the market for collectively-operated construction land can directly increase property income for farmers.
Respect farmers' wishes and let farmers "have a home"
In rural areas, the phenomenon of occupying cultivated land and building houses has occurred from time to time. The policy of "one household, one house" has played a certain role in resolving such chaos. But what if the homestead is not enough? How to deal with the housing sites of farmers who settle in the city? The newly revised Land Management Law has made relevant provisions in the above aspects to fully respect and protect farmers' land rights.
The newly revised Land Management Law clearly stipulates that in areas where there is little per capita land and no one can own a homestead, the county-level people's government can take measures in accordance with the regulations of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities on the basis of fully respecting the wishes of rural villagers The standard guarantees that rural villagers can live in a household. At the same time, it is clear that the country allows rural villagers who settle in cities to voluntarily withdraw from homesteads in accordance with the law, and encourages rural collective economic organizations and their members to make active use of idle homesteads and idle houses.
"It is a long process for farmers to become citizens to achieve urbanization. We must be patient throughout the process. If farmers are unwilling to withdraw from their homestead, local governments cannot force them to withdraw from their homestead. It must be on a voluntary and paid basis. Go up, "Wei Lihua said. (From the magazine of the Chinese People's Congress)