China is to carry out "necessary and imminent" reforms of the rural collective property rights system to give farmers more rights and to prevent rural assets from falling into the hands of outside capital, as part of the country's drive to spur economic growth in rural areas, the agriculture minister said on Tuesday.
The country's rural areas have many collectively owned assets, but, if not revitalized and integrated, the assets in these regions won't play their due role to generate income for rural residents. If not properly managed, such assets face the risk of falling into or being seized by outside forces, Han Changfu, agricultural minister, told a briefing in Beijing.
"Pushing forward this reform is very necessary and very imminent," Han said. He added that the target of the reforms, outlined in a recent document published by the State Council, China's Cabinet, is to establish a management system in accordance with market rules that protects famers' rights over collectively owned assets.
The reforms are major measures to increase farmers' income from those collectively owned assets, the State Council document issued on Friday stated.
To ensure proper implementation of the reforms, the government will take a full inventory of assets and funds in the next three years and gradually establish an asset shareholding system to give farmers their respective shares, according to Han, adding that transaction of shares during the process will not be open to outside capital.