Legislators use Internet to test the water - part 2
Legislators use Internet to test the water: The full text of the draft law was published in the People's Daily and Legal Daily as well as on three major websites www.xinhuanet.com.cn, www.people.com.cn and the NPC's website www.npc.gov.cn.
Most respondents either published articles on websites or sent emails directly to the commission to explain their views.
Many regard the legislation as "timely and important" for safeguarding the property rights of both the State and citizens.
Different views about certain articles were expressed.
The 68th article of the draft law says private ownership rights are under the protection of the State.
Property owners should be given compensation according to State-set standards if their properties are appropriated for other uses.
If the State has not set such a standard, "reasonable" compensation should be given, according to the draft law.
People whose properties are taken will be settled "appropriately."
A netizen named Liao Junhe said in an article on www.npc.gov.cn that the words "reasonable" and "appropriately" are too vague.
He suggested the law should stipulate that if a property is taken for commercial use, the property developer must sign a compensation contract with the person involved before getting permission to demolish the property.
The purpose is to effectively protect the rights of ordinary people, who are usually the victims of disputes between developers and private property owners, according to Liao.
Official investigations have discovered that the large-scale demolition of private houses for property development in cities has spawned many disputes and conflicts, and has become one of the major roots of social unrest.
Varied opinions are also to be found in articles concerning how to deal with land saved for farmers to build their houses on.
Urban residents are not allowed to purchase rural house-building land, according to the law.
Writing on the Internet, Liu Xizhong said such a stipulation is in tune with practical conditions and is a good way to make efficient use of land.
Per capita cultivated land in the country is 0.093 hectares, less than half of the world average.
But fellow netizen Xiong Peiyun said such a ruling is not in line with the spirit of "equality" and "freedom" in the civil code.
The draft law prevents farmers from turning their houses into commodities on the market and also restricts urban residents from building settlements in rural areas, argued Xiong.
"We will put all these viewpoints in different categories and then send them to the NPC Standing Committee for reference," Yang noted.
The Commission of Legislative Affairs of the 10th NPC will revise the draft law according to public opinions and submit the updated draft law to the NPC Standing Committee for the fourth round of deliberations.
Then, the draft law will be submitted to a plenary session of the 10th NPC, which will be held next March, for the fifth deliberation after which it will be adopted, subject to a vote.
In China, laws are usually drafted by relevant government departments first, and then sent to the NPC Standing Committee via the State Council for review.
The shortcoming is obvious. Many departments have put their interests first when considering the legislation, trying to maximize their own power, Wang Xixin, a law expert from Peking University, was quoted as saying by the Beijing-based Caijing Magazine.
He cited the law on civil aviation and the law on the postal service as examples.
The Internet is of course important at a time when citizens are calling for wider participation and greater transparency, NPC official Yang believes.
"The legislation of the law on property rights is of great significance for speeding up China's law-making process," he said.
BY Sun Shangwu (China Daily)