China to funnel more land sales revenue into rural sector

BEIJING, Sept 23 (Reuters) - China will raise the share of government land sales revenue that goes into the farming sector and rural areas to more than 50% by 2025, the cabinet said in guidelines published on Wednesday.

Land sales have been a vital source of revenue for local governments, as they typically acquire land from farmers at knock-down prices and re-sell the land for property and industrial development, triggering protests by farmers.

For a long time, land transfer incomes have been mainly used to fund urban and industrial development, leaving only a small proportion for agriculture and rural areas, the cabinet said.

“We should adjust the urban-rural distribution land transfer income, steadily increase the proportion of land income used for agriculture and rural areas,” the guidelines said. (Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Andrew Heavens)