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Revised Law on Farmers' Specialized Cooperatives to vitalize countryside
December 28,2017   By:Xinhua

BEIJING, Dec. 28, 2017 -- China's top legislature on Wednesday adopted a revision to the Law on Farmers' Specialized Cooperatives.

The revision was adopted at the six-day bi-monthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, which opened on Friday.

According to Zhang Fugui, head of the law office of the agricultural committee of the NPC Standing Committee, one of the most prominent changes to the law is that farmers no longer have to engage in the same kind of agricultural production to form a specialized cooperative.

The revised law reads that such cooperatives can be formed by agricultural producers and those who provide or utilize services in agricultural production and management.

"Such limits have been canceled, which expanded the range of the adjustments to the law," Zhang said.

Another major feature of the revision lies in the provision that grants the country's farmers' specialized cooperatives equal legal status with other market entities, which for Shen Yueyue, vice chairwoman of the standing committee, "addresses the major problems in the implementation of the law."

Members of cooperatives now have the right to invest non-monetary assets that can be evaluated and transferred, such as their land management rights and forest rights in enterprises, according to the revision.

A few specific provisions to support the cooperatives have been added to the revision, including that electricity used during preliminary processing of products will be charged according to agricultural production price standards, which are lower than the price for industrial production.

The revision received a round of commendations from the lawmakers at the session.

"It fits the reality of our countryside and meets the needs of our reform and development," said Eligen Imibakhi, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, who believes the revision will help regulate the organization and conduct of the cooperatives."

"It also helps the cooperatives become a platform where smaller farmers are linked with the development of agriculture," he continued.

Ji Bingxuan, another vice chairman of the standing committee, highlighted the necessity and urgency of the revision.

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