SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's legislators have approved the nation's first asset appraisal laws in an attempt to standardize an unruly and fragmented industry.
The draft amendments were passed by 138 votes to 5, with 14 abstentions, Zhong Xuequan, spokesman for the National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, told a media briefing on Saturday.
Certified appraisers who have passed national exams and those who have experience in asset evaluation will qualify as appraisers, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
For state-owned or public interest assets, appraisal agencies should seek opinion from at least two certified appraisers, according to the new law, which will come into effect on the 1 Dec.
The revisions aim to make the economic system more market orientated, to maintain basic economic needs and to help develop the appraisal industry, said Gong Fanrong, the director of the finance committee legal team of the NPC at the briefing.
"As a result of legal weaknesses, false assessments have an impact on the fairness of trade and can even damage the legal rights of property owners," Gong said at the briefing.
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Signing a false report can lead to a life-time ban.
Qualification exams will be held by national appraisal industry associations.
China has more than 14,000 appraisal agencies, with more than 130,000 certified appraisers and 600,000 others employed in the industry, according to figures reported Xinhua.
(Reporting by Engen Tham; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)