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People's Daily Online>>China Politics

Full Text: Report on the Work of the Government (6)

(Xinhua)

08:18, March 16, 2012

5. Deepening reform and opening up and injecting new vitality and impetus into economic and social development

We intensified efforts to overcome difficulties and carried forward reform in major areas and key links to meet reform targets set forth in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan.

We improved the public finance system, particularly the budget management system. We put all extrabudgetary funds under budgetary management; expanded the scope of budgets for the use of state capital; deepened the reform requiring government departments to prepare their own budgets; and moved ahead with publicly releasing government budgets and final accounts. Ninety-eight central government departments as well as provincial and municipal governments, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and Shaanxi, publicly released information regarding their spending on official overseas trips, official vehicles and official hospitality. We carried out a price-based reform of resource taxes on crude oil and natural gas nationwide, and introduced a plan to replace business tax with value-added tax (VAT) on a trial basis. We extended the use of RMB in cross-border trade settlement to the whole country, launched trials for settling overseas direct investment accounts in RMB, and began settling foreign direct investment accounts in RMB. We deepened reform of tenure in collective forests, launched a trial reform of state forestry farms, and started registration for contracting pastureland in accordance with the law. We pressed ahead with reform of the system for managing the construction of water conservancy facilities and made innovations in the system for managing water resources; and deepened reform of state-owned enterprises. We carried out reform to restructure power grids by separating their main business from auxiliary services and implemented the plan to adjust the prices of on-grid electricity and non-household electricity. We basically completed the reform of county and town government bodies, and proceeded with the reform of public institutions through classification in an orderly manner.

We continued to put equal emphasis on exports and imports, encouraged foreign investment in China and Chinese investment overseas, and made comprehensive improvements to China's open economy. We actively pursued the strategy of diversifying markets and improved the trade mix. China's total volume of trade in goods totaled US$ 3.64 trillion for the year, up 22.5%. Exports and imports grew by 20.3% and 24.9%, respectively, and our trade surplus decreased further. Total utilized foreign direct investment was $116 billion, and a larger proportion of it went to service industries and the central and western regions. Chinese companies expanded their overseas presence, and non-financial outward direct investment reached $60.1 billion. We actively participated in international and regional economic cooperation and continued to deepen multilateral and bilateral economic and trade relations.

We made outstanding progress in improving democracy and the legal system; strengthening national defense and building up the armed forces; and in our work related to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and our diplomatic work.

Our hard-won achievements over the past year are a testament to the strength and vitality of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, and have enhanced the pride and cohesiveness of the Chinese nation. We owe these achievements to the sound decisions made by the Party Central Committee, with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, and its correct leadership, as well as the concerted efforts and hard work of the Party, the armed forces, and the people of all ethnic groups in China. On behalf of the State Council, I wish to sincerely thank the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, the democratic parties, people's organizations, and people from all sectors of society. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to our compatriots in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and in Taiwan, as well as overseas Chinese. I also wish to express my sincere appreciation to governments of other countries, international organizations, and foreign friends around the world who show understanding for and support China in its pursuit of modernization.

We are keenly aware that China still faces many difficulties and challenges in economic and social development. Internationally, the road to global economic recovery will be tortuous, the global financial crisis is still evolving, and some countries will find it hard to ease the sovereign debt crisis any time soon. The unemployment rate remains high in the major developed economies, and they lack impetus for growth. Emerging economies face the dual pressures of inflation and slowing economic growth. The exchange rates of major currencies and the prices of important commodities are experiencing sharp fluctuations. Protectionism in international trade and investment is mounting. Domestically, it has become more urgent but also more difficult to solve institutional and structural problems and alleviate the problem of unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable development. In addition, China's economy is encountering new problems. There is downward pressure on economic growth. Prices remain high. Regulation of the real estate market is in a crucial stage. It is getting harder to maintain steady development of agriculture and sustain increases in rural incomes. Pressure to increase total employment coexists with structural shortages of qualified personnel in some industries. Some enterprises, especially small and micro businesses, face increasing difficulties in their operations. Some industries are plagued by excess production capacity. Total energy consumption is growing excessively fast. Moreover, some long-term and short-term problems are interwoven; structural and cyclical factors affect each other; domestic and international problems have become interrelated; and our macro-control work faces a more complex situation. There are still some deficiencies and shortcomings in the government's work. Targets for conserving energy, reducing emissions, and controlling prices are not being met. Problems concerning land expropriation, housing demolition, workplace safety, food and drug safety, and income distribution are still very serious and the people are still very concerned about them. Government administration and services need to be improved, and efforts to build clean government need to be intensified.

We must act with a strong sense of responsibility toward the country and the people, take more effective steps to resolve these problems, strive to do all our work better, and truly live up to the people's expectations.

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