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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 11:12, December 24, 2006
China to establish national subsistence allowance system for rural poor
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China will establish subsistence allowances for rural poor all around the country, according to the central agricultural meeting closed Saturday.

This is the first time for the Chinese government to raise the goal of establishing a national subsistence allowances system for rural poor since the decision of the Communist Party of China on building up socialist harmonious society issued last month proposed establishing minimum living standard for rural poor step by step.

According to the meeting, the central budget will invest more in agriculture and rural area next year to accelerate the social development of the rural areas.

China will "explore a social security system covering both urban and rural people and build up subsistence allowances for rural poor all around the country", said the meeting.

Some developed regions of China such as South China's Guangdong and East China's Zhejiang provinces have established a subsistence allowances system for rural poor since 1997.

According to statistics, among all 2862 counties of the country, over2000 have established minimum living standard for rural poor with 9.85 million having got subsistence allowances, accounting for 42 percent of the total number of the rural poor.

The central budget will enhance support in transference payments to establish subsistence allowances for rural poor in more regions, said Jin Renqing, Minister of Finance recently.

Experts said that establishing subsistence allowance system for rural poor is an important measure to reduce rural and urban living gap and to guarantee the basic living rights of farmers.

The move is deemed as the key to establishing and improving social security system in the rural areas.

Data from the State Council Leading Group of Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development show that with a standard of annual per capita income lower than 683 yuan (87.6 US dollars), China has 23.65 million rural poor by the end of 2005, 5.62 million less than 2001.

China appropriated nearly 40 billion yuan annually in poverty alleviation in recent years, with the special fund for poverty reduction from the central budget reaching 13.4 billion yuan this year.

Source: Xinhua

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