Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is to deliver a report on the work of his Cabinet at the opening meeting of the annual full session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, scheduled to start in the Great Hall of the People at 9 a.m. Thursday.
Following are the highlights of Wen's 44-page Report on the Work of the Government, a set of plans and polices of the Chinese government to cope with the tough economic situation and stimulate the Chinese economy. The text of the report was distributed to the media prior to the opening of the NPC session:
MAJOR TARGETS for 2009
-- GDP will grow by about 8 percent;
-- Economic structure will further improve;
-- Urban employment will increase by more than 9 million persons;
-- Urban registered unemployment rate will be held under 4.6 percent;
-- Urban and rural incomes will grow steadily;
-- Rise in the CPI will be around 4 percent;
-- Balance of payments will continue to improve.
-- The central government deficit is set at 750 billion yuan, 570 billion yuan more than last year. The total deficit will become 950 billion when a 200 billion yuan worth of government bonds is issued by local governments, accounting for less than 3 percent of the GDP.
REAL ESTATE SECTOR
-- Even more vigorous and effective policies and measures will be adopted to stabilize market confidence and expectations, keep real estate investment stable, and promote steady and orderly development of the real estate industry.
POST QUAKE RECONSTRUCTION
-- The central government will allocate 130 billion yuan to accelerate recovery and reconstruction of areas hit by the Wenchuan earthquake.
AGRICULTURE, RURAL AREAS & FARMERS
-- Central government allocations for agriculture, rural areas and farmers will total 716.1 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 120.6 billion yuan.
-- The government will conscientiously implement plans for adjusting and invigorating key industries such as the automobile, steel, shipbuilding, petrochemical, textile, nonferrous metals, equipment manufacturing, information technology, modern logistics, and light industries.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION
-- The central government will allocate 146.1 billion yuan to the science and technology sector, up 25.6 percent from last year.
-- The government will implement strict market access rules and product traceability and recall systems so that the people buy food and drugs with confidence and consume them with satisfaction.
SOCIAL SAFETY NET
-- The central government plans to spend 293 billion yuan on the social safety net, up 17.6 percent or 43.9 billion yuan over the estimated figure for last year. Local governments will also increase funding in this area.
-- The government will implement a more proactive employment policy, and the central government will allocate 42 billion yuan for this purpose.
-- The government will formulate the Outline of the National Medium- and Long-Term Program for Education Reform and Developmentto make comprehensive arrangements for education reform and development in China through 2020.
HEALTH CARE REFORM
-- Governments at all levels will allocate an additional 850 billion yuan in the next three years, including 331.8 billion yuan from the central government, to ensure smooth progress in the reform of the medical and health care system.
-- The government will improve defense-related research, the weapons and equipment production system, the military personnel training system, and the army's logistics support system that integrate civilian with military purposes and combine military efforts with civilian support.
-- The mainland will remain committed to the goal of peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, and work actively to build a framework for and strive to achieve new progress in the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.
-- The mainland will continue to comprehensively strengthen cross-Straits economic cooperation to jointly respond to the global financial crisis.
-- The mainland will accelerate normalization of cross-Straits economic relations and facilitate the signing of a comprehensive agreement on economic cooperation, and gradually establish economic cooperation mechanisms tailored to both sides of the Straits.
-- The mainland will work on the basis of the one-China principle to enhance mutual political trust between the two sides.
(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2009)