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08:55 Mar 31 2009

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English>>China>>China Politics
Report: Central government plays crucial role in promoting Tibet's economy
16:01, March 30, 2009  

The Chinese central government has played a crucial role in Tibet's economic development by establishing a market system and driving the region's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the Report on the Economic and Social Development of Tibet published Monday by Beijing-based China Tibetology Research Center.

The government has lifted control on prices of consumer goods, including the prices of farm produce, and a market system has been established primarily in Tibet which has obvious function in regulating local economic life, the report said.

In contrast with the time of the planned economy when many Tibetan residents would bring back vegetables from inland areas, Today's markets in the region are full of commercial goods from all over China and the rest of the world.

After the market mechanism was introduced to the autonomous region, Tibetan farmers and herdsmen have profited greatly from the price rise of most agricultural and livestock products.

For instance, in the time of the planned economy a half kilogram of yak meat cost less than one yuan but now the price has risen to more than 20 yuan. A robust yak could even swap for a tractor, the report said.

Enjoying a free flow of manpower, materials and capital in Tibet, various markets of different nature have been established. Commodities markets as well as specialized markets of means of production, human resources and securities have emerged in Lhasa and other medium and large-size cities and towns.

The report also illustrated that the output value of 148 private industrial enterprises had accounted for nearly 60 percent of the total industrial output value of the region, which has played a significant role in Tibet's economy.

According to successive research projects conducted by the research center's scholars in three villages of Tibet since 1996, the proportion of farmers at the medium-income level was on the rise, while that of those at the high and low-income levels had decreased.

The report also indicated that the government investment has become an important driving force behind Tibet's rapid economic growth in recent year.

Especially in the past five years, the amount of investment in fixed assets has accounted for more than 75 percent of the region's GDP. The investment has come largely from financial transfers and investment in the construction of major projects from the central government, the report said.

Investment from the government plays a significant role in Tibet's economic development. In other words, investment in Tibet is largely decided by the central government, it said.

To offset the disadvantages that the market system could have, governments at all levels in Tibet earmarked more funds to promote a fair development for all farmers in the region.

To guarantee that farmers and herdsmen enjoy complete employment rights, the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region stipulated that civil engineering projects funded by the government should recruit at least one third of their workers from among farmers and herdsmen in all working posts for which they are competent.

Since Chinese Caterpillar Fungus, a rare health food, has become an important source of income for Tibet's farmers and herdsmen with its soaring prices, the government soon granted the right to pick Chinese Caterpillar Fungus to local farmers and herdsmen.

The regulation not only protected the resources and immediate interests of farmers and herdsmen, but also ensured that the Fungus was picked in an orderly manner, the report said.


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