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Property registration bureau set up

An Baijie
Updated: Aug 21,2014 11:47 AM     China Daily

The Ministry of Land and Resources has established a new department to take charge of real estate registration, a week after a draft regulation on property registration was issued.

The new Bureau of Real Estate Registration is in charge of making and supervising regulations on land management and property registration, coordinating dispute resolution with relevant departments and issuing certificates for the use of forests, islands and grassland.

According to the ministry’s website, the bureau has 24 members, including 13 officials of and above section levels.

The move follows the release of a draft regulation on Friday to solicit public opinion on a proposal for real estate registration.

According to the draft, a unified, national real estate registration system should be established to ensure that registration information can be shared among government departments in real time.

It would allow the government to access and copy registration information during investigations, but such information would not be made public without consent of the property owners.

The information will be shared between public security, civil affairs, taxation, finance and audit authorities in addition to government departments concerning land and resources as well as industry and commerce. It will not impact the legitimate rights of property owners, the draft said.

The public can voice comments on the proposal before Sept 15.

Real estate registration is expected to curb speculation in the housing market and contribute to anti-corruption work, analysts said.

Wang Yukai, a professor of public administration research with the Chinese Academy of Governance, said that property registration should be compulsory “like everyone has to get an ID card” so that the government can establish a database for property market policy.

Corrupt officials who own numerous houses could sell their apartments in a hurry after the property registration platform has been established, he said.

In late 2012, Cai Bin, a government official in Panyu district of Guangzhou, was sacked after an online post alleged that he owned 22 houses, which was later confirmed by a government investigation.

The official was charged with receiving bribes amounting to 2.75 million yuan ($442,000) from 1993 to 2012. He was sentenced to 11 and a half years in prison in September.

Shi Zhengwen, a professor of taxation with the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Beijing News that property registration will provide data for property taxes.

In March, Fu Ying, spokeswoman for the National People’s Congress, said during a session of the top legislature that the NPC is pushing forward the law on property taxes.

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