(CBN - Global) April 15 -- China has suspended all new approvals of land for use by steel and coal projects in an effort to resolve the issue of overcapacity in the industries. It will also revoke land use grants that were recently approved.
The Ministry of Land and Resources will cease to approve any new coalmines for three years, and has put a ban on land approval for mines and steel enterprises, according to Mr. Dou Jingli, chief director of the Land Utilization and Management Department of the ministry.
China is introducing measures to reduce overcapacity in its coalmining and steelmaking sectors. In its five-year plan to 2020, the government aims to reduce steel production by 150 million tons. China's steel industry accounts for over half of world production of the metal. Last year, output was cut for the first time since 1981. China is also the world's biggest producer and consumer of coal. As the economy has slowed, mining overcapacity has become a key issue.