China says to set up unified property database in 4 yrs

BEIJING, March 27 Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:31am EDT

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BEIJING, March 27 (Reuters) - China plans to set up a unified property database in four years, land minister Jiang Daming said in remarks published on Thursday, offering a concrete timeframe after repeated delays.

China's plan for a nationwide property database, once hailed as an antidote to corruption, has stalled amid resistance from local governments that illustrates the difficulty Beijing faces in driving through reforms to tackle widespread graft.

The database is not only seen as vital for authorities to control a frothy housing market - it would also force corrupt local officials to come clean about properties purchased from ill-gotten gains, industry experts say.

"We will use about three years to fully establish a unified registration system of real estate, and use about four years to run a unified real estate registration information management platform," the online portal of the People's Daily quoted Jiang was saying.

The property registration will provide some support for fiscal and financial reforms, Jiang was quoted as telling the fist inter-ministerial meeting on property registration.

The property registration will help "protect the legitimate rights of people and maintain good order in the real estate market transactions", the report said.

Most analysts expect a broad implementation of the property tax is top of the agenda, though it would still take time due to a complicated legislation process.

The ministry has said earlier that it would publish rules on property registration in June and played down fears that some people could rush to sell their property. (Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Ron Popeski)

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