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Home >> China
UPDATED: 16:51, March 08, 2005
Gov't work report to bring people benefits in 6 areas
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When discussing government work report delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao deputies to the third session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) believed that the report has "high gold content'' which will bring at least six areas of benefits to ordinary people in China.

Farmers: the agricultural tax will be exempted; in addition grain growers will have direct subsidies.
"Report rereading'': The government will exempt the tax in 592 counties included in the national poverty relief programme and do away with livestock taxes across the country before the end of this year. China will exempt farmers from agricultural taxes in 2006.

"Background": in 2004 China adopted more direct and powerful policies to boost grain production and income increase for farmers. The central financial expenditure on agriculture, countryside and farmers in the year was more than 260 billion yuan or 31.44 billion US dollars, hitting a record high.

"Comments from deputy": Cao Jiafu, an NPC deputy from Henan: when hearing Premier Wen talk of the three exemptions I clapped my hands madly. Last year the government made great efforts in solving the issues concerning agriculture, countryside and farmers, as a result farmers were benefited, which had been unprecedented for many years and became a spotlight for last year's government work. However it is only the first step if the issues concerning agriculture, countryside and farmers will be solved thoroughly. There will be many areas of work to be done. They include how to realize the industrialization of agriculture and how to divert surplus labor forces from rural areas.

Poor students: no more tears for book and tuition fees
"Report reading'': From this year the fees for books and tuitions will be exempted for rural students with financial difficulties in 592 counties designated as priorities of the State's poverty-relief work during the nine-year compulsory education stage and in addition the students' cost of living will be subsidized. Starting from 2007 all rural students will enjoy such benefits so that all are able to complete compulsory education.

"Background": In 2004 China strengthened the support for rural compulsory education in the poor rural areas. China has offered textbooks free of charge for more 24 million rural students with financial difficulties in the central and western areas during the nine-year compulsory education stage. Authoritative personages forecast that the number of the poor students hit 30 million.

"Comments from deputy": Duan Zhiai, a deputy from Shanxi: When reading the above lines in the government work report I wrote a big Chinese character "hao'' meaning good beside the contents. I am a middle school teacher in a county in Shanxi province. When going to the countryside, I understand that there are great gaps between rural and urban areas in teaching equipment and the quality of teachers. Some rural children with financial difficulties have to finish their schooling ahead of time, as they cannot afford to pay for books and tuitions. There is no way to talk of changing the backwardness in rural areas if rural children, especially those from poor families, do not receive education and not improve their quality.

Urban dwellers: more opportunities for employment
"Report rereading": The report sets a target of "creating 9 million more jobs for urban residents for 2005'' and China will carry out a proactive employment policy. The country will adhere to a vigorous reemployment policy. This year the state will earmark 10.9 billion yuan for the support of reemployment, 2.6 billion yuan more than last year. Local governments at all levels should also increase their investment in this area.

"Background": China created 9.8 million jobs for urban residents in 2004 with 5.1 million laid-off workers reemployed, surprising the expected targets. The social security funds from the central finance reached 146.5 billion yuan, an increase of 18.1 per cent.

"Comments from deputy": Huang Yuezhong from Anhui: hearing Premier's report what impressed me most is that the government has paid more attention to people's livelihood with more investment. Last year so many people got their jobs, which shows that China's proactive employment policy has been brought into real play.

Coal miners: more life securities
"Reports excerpts": the State Council has decided to arrange 3 billion yuan for construction funds in support of the State-owned coalmines in their technical updating for safety.

"Background": fatal gas outburst disasters in coalmines across the country have been frequented since the later half of last year. According to statistics by the State Administration of Work Safety there were 3,639 fatal coalmine disasters in 2004, killing 6,027.

"Comments from deputy": Xinjiang NPC deputy Gao Tongqing; there have happened many fatal safety accidents in some areas and industries since last year causing grave losses. The government work report said top priority will be given to coalmine safety, and safety and supervision mechanisms in coalmines will be improved with more investment in coalmines so that safety production will be boosted. All these will make the safety of coalminers' life more guaranteed.

Private owners: more opportunities for creating wealth
"Report excerpts": China will further relax control on market access for non-public economy and expand financing channels for non-public enterprises.

"Background": the proportion of the non-public economy including individual and private ownership has been raised to about one-third of gross domestic product (GDP) from less than 1 per cent in 1979. Since the middle of 1990s more than 70 per cent of urban jobs have been created by non-public economy while more than 70 per cent of migrant workers from rural areas have been employed by the non-public economy.

"Comments from NPC deputy": Chongqing deputy Liu Minghua: the government work report says it should be noticed that the external environment for the development of non-public economy has been improved in recent years. However there still exist some difficulties and problems. Especially there are some improper limitations to its market access. What the report says has made the non-public owners calm.

Investors: more legal benefits have been protected
"Report excerpts": strengthening the infrastructure of capital market, setting up and perfecting all rules for the development of capital market while protecting the lawful rights and interests of investors, especially the public investors.

"Background": at present the reform and development of capital market is situated at a critical time. The favorable factor is that the important role of securities and futures market has been widely recognized by all circles in the society. However the capital market faces great challenges from areas including unmatched legal systems and law enforcement environment, irregular market operation, imperfect market structure, and oversight and management work waiting for further enhancement and improvement.

"Comments from NPC deputy": Zhejiang deputy Li Guoguang: I am not a shareholder, but concerned about stock market. During these years, the instances in violation of relevant regularities and laws including manipulating stock prices by dealers and appropriating clients' funds by securities traders are too numerous to list. The dealers and securities traders try every possible means to seize investor's interests, especially the medium and small investors while the lawful interests of the medium and small investors can not be guaranteed due to high cost for maintaining their legal rights. I believe the Premier's report will improve confidence for medium and small investors.

By People's Daily Online

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