Opinions of Improving the Measures for Separating Rural Land Ownership from Contracted Management Right
· Area of Law： Reform and Opening-up
· Level of Authority： Group Provisions
· Date issued：10-30-2016
· Effective Date：10-30-2016
· Status： Effective
· Issuing Authority： General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (General Office, CCCPC) General Office of the State Council
Opinions of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council on Improving the Measures for Separating Rural Land Ownership from Contracted Management Right
(October 30, 2016)
For purposes of further improving the rural land ownership system and promoting the concurrent development of new industrialization, information, urbanization and agricultural modernization, the following opinions on improving the measures for separating rural land ownership from contracted management right (hereinafter referred to as "separation of rights") are hereby offered.
I. Significant meaning
When the household responsibility system was implemented in rural areas to separate land ownership and contracting and management right in the beginning of the reform and opening up, the ownership belonged the collectives and contracting and management right belonged to rural households, which greatly motivated millions of farmers, effectively provided enough food, and the reform in rural areas witnessed significant achievements. The current reform of the rural land system shall respect the wish of farmers to keep land contracting rights and circulate land management rights, the right to contracted land management shall be separated into contracted management right, and implementing the parallel separation of ownership, contracted management right, and focusing on the advancement of agricultural modernization are an important institutional innovation on the rural reform since the household responsibility system. "Separation of rights" is a self-improvement of the basic rural management system; it conforms to objective pattern that productive relations adapt to the development of productivity, demonstrates the standing vigor of the basic rural management system, and is helpful to well define the relations in property in land, to better protect the rights and interests of farmers' collectives, contracting farmers and management entities; and is helpful to promote the reasonable use of land resources, establish a new agricultural management system, develop various moderate-scale business operations, improve land yields, productivity and resource utilization efficiency, and promote the development modern agriculture. All regions and all relevant departments shall fully recognize the significance in "separation of rights," properly deal with the relations among the "three rights," correctly make use of "separation of rights" theory to guide the reform and practice, and incessantly explore and enrich the specific forms of realizing the "separation of rights."
II. General requirements
(1) Guiding ideology. We shall comprehensively implement the spirit of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and the Third, Fourth and Fifth Plenary Sessions of the 18th CPC Central Committee, study and implement in depth the spirit of a series of important speeches delivered by the General Secretary Xi Jinping, closely center ourselves on the overall advancement of the overall layout for "economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological progress" and coordinated advancement of the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy, firmly develop new development concepts, conscientiously implement the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, focus on the major reform theme of correctly handling the relations between farmers and land, scientifically define the meaning of "three rights," the bounds of rights and mutual relations, gradually establish a regulated and efficient "three rights" operation mechanism, constantly improve the rural land ownership system featuring clear property, complete rights and abilities, smooth circulation and strict protection, optimize land resources allocation, foster new types of operating entities, promote moderate-scale operation and development, further consolidate and improve the basic rural management system, and provide solid guarantee to the development of modern agriculture, increase in farmers' income and construction of new socialist rural areas.
(2) Basic principles
-- Respecting farmers' wishes. Adhering to the principal position of farmers, protecting the lawful rights and interests of farmers, delegating the choice power to farmers, giving play to their initiatives and creativity, strengthening demonstration and guidance, giving no forcible orders and make no one-cut-for-all measures.
-- Observing policies. Adhering to and improving the basic rural management system, adhering to the collective ownership of rural land, adhering to the basic position of household management, and adhering to and stabilizing land contracting relations, instead of breaking down the rural land collective ownership system, reducing cultivated land, weakening grain production ability and damaging interests of farmers.
-- Adhering to gradual reform. Fully recognizing the durability and complexity of the reform of the rural land system, keeping sufficient historical patience, prudently, steadily and properly advancing the reform from points to areas and without undue haste, and gradually making experience from practice into institutional arrangements.
-- Adhering to adopting measures suitable to local conditions. Giving full consideration to the difference in resources endowment and social and economic development in all regions, encouraging practice exploration and institutional innovation that conform to the actual circumstances, and summarizing and forming specific paths and measures to "separate rights" suitable for various regions.
III. Gradually forming a pattern of "separation of rights"
The measures of "separation of rights" shall be improved, the forms to effectively realize the rural land collective ownership system shall be constantly explored, collective ownership shall be implemented, the contracting right of rural households shall be stabilized, the control over land management right shall be loosened, and full play shall be given to the respective functions and overall effectiveness of "three rights" so as to form a pattern featuring clear layers, reasonable structure and equal protection.
(1) Adhering to the fundamental position of the collective ownership of rural land at all times. Farmers' collective ownership of rural land is fundamental to the basic rural management system must be fully embodied and guaranteed, and cannot be poorly protected. The collective owners of land are entitled to possess, utilize, seek profits from and dispose of the collectively-owned land in accordance with law. Farmers' collectives are the holders of collective ownership of land. In the process of improving the measures for the "separation of rights," all the rights and abilities of farmers' collectives such as the right to subcontract, adjust, supervise and withdraw contracted land shall be fully protected, and play shall be given to the advantages and role of collective ownership of land. A farmers' collective is entitled to subcontract collectively-owned land, which any organization or individual shall not illegally intervene in; entitled to adjust contracted land in accordance with the law under such special circumstances as serious damage arising out of natural disasters; and entitled to supervise contractor farmers and business entities using contracted land, and adopt measures to prevent and correct such acts as abandoning or damaging land in a long term and illegally changing the purpose of land. If a contractor farmer transfers his land contracting right, he shall make the transfer within his collective economic organization, subject to the consent of the farmers' collective. If a contractor farmer circulates his land management right, he shall file the circulation with the farmers' collective for written recordation. In case the collectively-owned land is requisitioned, the farmers' collective is entitled to offer opinions on the plan for compensation for land requisition and relocation, and entitled to compensation. By establishing and improving a democratic discussion mechanism of collective economic organizations, and the right to know, right of decision and the right of supervision of members of the collectives shall be effectively guaranteed so as to ensure that farmers' collectives effectively exercise their ownership of collectively-owned land and prevent few people from giving or receiving benefits without authorization and seeking personal benefits.
(2) Strictly protecting farmers' contracting rights. Farmers' entitlement to contract land is the foundation of the basic rural management system and current land contracting relations shall be stabilized and remain unchanged for a long time to come. A holder of land contracting right shall be entitled to legally possess, use and benefit from his contracted land. Rural collectively-owned land shall be contracted by the farming households which are members of collective economic organizations, and no matter how the management right is circulated, the collectively-owned land management right shall belong to farming households. Any organization or individual shall not replace farming households as land contractors, or illegally deprive them of the land contracting rights or impose any restrictions on them. In the process of improving the measures for the "separation of rights," all rights and abilities of the contractor farmers to use, circulate, mortgage, exit from contracted land, etc. shall be fully secured. A contracting farmer shall be entitled to possess and use contracted land, establish necessary agricultural production, affiliation and supporting facilities in accordance with the laws and regulations, independently organize production and operations, dispose of products and receive proceeds; and entitled to circulate contracted land through transfer, exchange, leasing (subcontracting), shareholding or other means and receive proceeds, and no organization and individual may force or restrict them in circulating the land; and he shall be entitled to establish mortgage on his right to contracted land management in accordance with the laws and regulations and voluntarily exit from contracted land for compensation, and, where possible, may obtain the relevant subsidies for protecting contracted land. In the case that contracted land is requisitioned, a contractor farmer shall be entitled to corresponding compensations and, if meeting the prescribed conditions, to social security fees, etc. No land contracted by farmers shall be illegally adjusted and exit from land contracting right shall be not used as a precondition for farmers to move to and settle down in cities.
(3) Accelerating the loosening of control over land management rights. Granting more guaranteed land management rights to management entities is a key to improve the basic rural management system. A holder of land management rights shall be entitled to possess, cultivate and receive the correspondingly proceeds from the circulated land within a specified term. On the premise of protecting collective ownership and farmers' contracting right in accordance with the law, management entities shall be equally protected when obtaining land management rights according to the circulation contracts and their expectation for stable management shall be guaranteed. In the process of improving the "separation of rights," all rights required for management entities to engage in agricultural production shall be protected in accordance with the law so as to make more effective and reasonable use of the land resources. A management entity shall be entitled to use circulated land to independently engage in agricultural production and operations, receive corresponding proceeds, and may, upon the consent of the contractor farmers, improve the soil and fertility in accordance with the laws and regulations, establish agricultural production, affiliation and supporting facilities, and receive reasonable compensations pursuant to the circulation contract. It shall also be entitled to enjoy priority in renewing its contract of the contracted land under the same conditions. A management entity shall, before re-circulating its land management rights or establish a mortgage in accordance with the laws and regulations, obtain the written consent of a contractor farmer or the agent it authorizes and file the circulation with the farmers' collective for written recordation. If circulated land is requisitioned, the compensations for ground appendices and crop shall be made to the person as determined in the circulation contract. If a contractor farmer circulates his land management rights, the circulation shall not obstruct the management entity in the execution of its rights. The protection of land management rights shall be strengthened, and guidance should be made so that the land management rights are circulated to skilled farmers and new types of management entities. New types of management entities shall be supported in improving land fertility and agricultural production conditions, and mortgaging land management rights in accordance with the laws and regulations. The adoption of multiple management modes, such as land-share cooperation, land custody, and farming service, etc., shall be encouraged, and more effective paths to loosen control over land management rights shall be explored.
(4) Gradually improving the relationship among the "three rights." Collective ownership of rural land is the precondition of land contracting rights; farmers' entitlement to contracting and management land is the specific form to realize collective ownership, and, in the process of land circulation, land management right is derived from farmers' contracting and management right. The research of the specific methods in practice for farmers' collectives to exercise collective ownership in accordance with the laws and regulations, supervise contractor farmers and management entities so as to make good use of land, etc. shall be supported. In-depth theoretical research of the boundaries of rights and relations in the rights of farmers' collectives and contractor farmers in land contracting and those of the contractor farmers and management entities, etc., shall be encouraged. The relations among the "three rights" shall be gradually improved through practical exploration and theoretical innovation so as to provide powerful support to the "separation of rights."
IV. Ensuring the orderly implementation of the "separation of rights"
Improving the measures for the "separation of rights" involves the rights and interests of multiple parties, is a gradual progress and systematic project, and requires the adherence to overall arrangement, planning, and steady advancement so as to ensure the orderly implementation of "separation of rights."
(1) Solidly and effectively issuing registration certificates on the determination of rural land. The establishment and steady implementation of the "separation of rights" can only be ensured by determining the holders of "three rights," defining ownership and stabilizing land contracting relationships. The land utilization regulation system shall be adhered to and improved on the basis of basic completion of the issuance of the registration certificates on the determination of ownership of collectively-owned land, the relevant policies shall be further improved, and the achievements in registration and determination of ownership shall be provided in a timely manner so as to effectively protect the rights and interests of farmers in collectively-owned land. The issuance of the registration certificates on the determination of ownership of collectively-owned land shall be accelerated, a contracting contract online recordation system shall be developed, and the ownership confirmation and registration system through which rights are obtained by contracting contracts, specified by registration and proved by certificates shall be improved. Various methods such as identification of circulation contracts and trading shall be advocated to determine land management rights so as to promote better realization of the functions of the land management rights.
(2) Establishing and improving a land circulation regulation and administration system. The circulation transactions of land management rights shall be regulated, the establishment of rural property trading markets shall be strengthened by adopting measures suitable to the local conditions to gradually cover all rural counties (cities, districts and banners). The market operation rules shall be improved, the service quality shall be improved and services in information publication, property trading, legal consultation, right and interest assessment, mortgage financing, etc. shall be provided to both parties to circulation. The management of circulation contracts shall be strengthened to guide both parties to circulation in using the model contracts. The mechanism to regulate industrial and commercial capital renting farmland and prevent risks shall be improved, the access threshold shall be strictly implemented, and regulated and orderly circulation of land management shall be ensured so as to better adapt to the urbanization progress, the size of transfer of rural labor force, agricultural science and technology progress, the degree of the improvement of production means, and the level of agricultural socialized services. The development of the mediation and arbitration system of the disputes over rural land contracting and management shall be strengthened, and the mediation mechanism of basic rural land contracting shall be improved so as to properly resolve the disputes over land contracting and management and effectively protect the lawful rights and interests of all right holders.
(3) Developing a new type of management entity supporting policy system. The policies in the respect of finance, credit, insurance, use of land, program support for new types of management entities shall be improved. Exemplary family farms, exemplary agricultural cooperatives, demonstration bases of agricultural industrialization, and exemplary agricultural service organizations shall be vigorously established, and the cultivation of new types of management entities shall be accelerated. New types of management entities and contractor farmers shall be guided to establish a close interest connection mechanism and ordinary farmers shall be motivated to share the proceeds from agricultural scale management. The integration of new types of management entities shall be supported, the unity and cooperation between family farms, agricultural cooperatives, leading enterprises in agricultural industrialization, etc. shall be encouraged, and industry organizations or leagues shall be set up in accordance with the law. The new-type professional farmer cultivation system shall be improved, depending on the modern agricultural talent support plans.
(4) Improving the laws and regulations on the "separation of rights." The pilot program of paid exit from land contracting rights, loans secured with land management rights, shareholding in agricultural industrialized operations with land management rights, etc. shall be vigorously conducted. Practices and experiences which may be promoted and reproduced shall be summarized, and the legal system shall be improved on the basis. The revision and improvement of the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Contracting of Rural Land and other relevant laws shall be accelerated. The legal issues regarding rural collective economic organizations, the development of family farms, etc. shall be conscientiously researched. Specific measures in the aspects of circulation of rural land management rights, secured loans and exit from rural land contracting right, etc. shall be researched and improved.
The implementation of the "separation of rights" is an important measure to deepen the reform of the rural land system. All regions and all relevant departments shall conscientiously implement the requirements of these Opinions and research and develop specific implementation measures. Policies shall be more publicized, thoughts and recognition shall be unified, and the training of officials shall be strengthened so as to improve their policy execution ability. Problem orientation shall be adhered to, new situation and new problems appearing in practice shall be closely watched over, timely summarization shall be made, and measures shall be improved in a timely manner. Work guidance shall be strengthened and an inspection and supervision mechanism shall be established to supervise the steady implementation of all tasks. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Office of the Central Leading Group for the Rural Work shall take the lead to improve the communication and coordination mechanism, and make timely reports on the work progress to the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. All relevant departments shall actively provide support and make cooperation, form resultant forces and better promote the orderly implementation of the "separation of rights."