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UPDATED: March 13, 2009 NO. 11 MAR. 19, 2009
Positively Convinced
After reporting a sharp slowdown in the fourth quarter of 2008, the country's next step on the path to recovery is coming into focus

I have four suggestions: First, we should accelerate urbanization construction, particularly the mass construction of affordable houses and low-rent houses in small and medium-sized cities to provide affordable living conditions for migrant workers and new university graduates. Real estate is one of the few industries highly related to other industries and can drive a large amount of social investment. For example, after buying houses, migrant workers and university graduates will also buy furniture, home appliances and telecommunications products.

Second, compulsory education in a real sense should be carried out in urban and rural areas; that is, families do not need to pay anything while the government pays all education expenses. This measure not only would ease the education burden on families, but also would improve people's quality.

Third, the government should make great efforts to resolve the problems of providing social security for the elderly, health care and unemployment insurance, and make steady progress.

Fourth, the central and western regions should be generous in investing in the ecological environment and providing jobs as a form of relief.

Old Industrial Bases

Cao Xinping, deputy to the 11th NPC and Mayor of Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province

There are many old industrial bases in China. In coping with the financial crisis, they should attach great importance to upgrading and transforming themselves.

The extensive economic growth pattern, especially the irrational economic structure, is the main crux of the problem in China's economic development. The global financial crisis has exposed the weak points more clearly. At present, China faces not only the challenges of declining external demand, but also the pressures of increasing restrictions from resources and the environment, growing labor and land costs, as well as the onset of international protectionism. Our traditional competitive advantages are gradually weakening. The economic growth pattern with its advantages of resources, the environment and low prices cannot last and must be abandoned.

As an old industrial base, Xuzhou has been exploring ways to upgrade and promote the transformation of an economic growth pattern focusing on structural adjustments. Some new and strong industries have been developing fast. The process of coping with the global financial crisis has also brought strategic opportunities for the upgrading and transformation of Xuzhou.

At present, Xuzhou is focusing its efforts on three areas to emerge from the crisis. First, it is expanding effective input in government investment-led projects so as to make full play of the role of government and attract more social investment. Second, it is strengthening the government's efforts to serve the market and companies, and doing its best to help enterprises solve their problems. Third, it is attaching great importance to people's livelihoods and solving serious problems that influence their production and daily lives.

Raising Farmers' Enthusiasm For Growing Grain

He Zhusheng, deputy to the 11th NPC and resident of Houying Village, Yingluo Town, Haicheng of Liaoning Province

Now it is more difficult for farmers to continuously increase their incomes. The low grain price is the main reason, which has affected farmers' enthusiasm for growing grain.

The grain issue is of great significance to the national economy, people's livelihoods and the state's stability. I suggest the state further increase direct subsidies for growing grain and increase the purchasing price of grain in order to increase farmers' enthusiasm for growing grain. This can not only increase farmers' income, but also stimulate consumption by farmers, and hence drive up domestic demand and contribute to maintaining economic growth.

I suggest the government reform the policies on direct subsidies for growing grain and purchasing farm machines and tools. Under market economy conditions, the state should pay high attention to private agricultural goods companies and farm product processing enterprises. The government should treat these private companies and state-owned enterprises of the same kind equally and create an environment of fair competition. It should not levy too many charges for farmers who establish small factories and build workshops. Only when farm product processing companies have good business can grain prices rise and farmers' enthusiasm for growing grain increase.

Culture Industry's Role

Li Li, deputy to the 11th NPC and President of the Shanxi Vocational College of Arts

The Shanxi Vocational College of Arts has performed the dance drama Wild Jujube nearly 600 times at home and abroad since 2002. The economic benefits of such entertainment and its role in boosting consumption are evident.

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