Wen: stimulus package effective, room for improvement (3)

08:51, December 28, 2009      

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CONCERNS OVER RISING HOUSE PRICES

Wen said he had noticed the criticism of Chinese Internet users of soaring property prices, and pledged to crack down on illegal activities that inflated prices. He also promised another chat with netizens ahead of the annual Parliament session in March next year.

"As the property market is recovering rapidly this year, housing prices in some cities are rising too fast, which deserves 'great attention' of the central government," he said.

"We will crack down on illegal moves, including hoarding of land and delaying sales for bigger profits," he said.

Wen's comments echoed repeated government calls to curb speculation as housing prices in major Chinese cities rose 5.7 percent year-on-year in November, fueled by growing demand, speculative deals and easy credit.

Wen said the government's tools in stabilizing prices were taxes, interest rates and land policies.

He said the government would expand construction of affordable housing projects for low-income families and speed up the renovation of "shanty towns", providing preferential funding, land and tax policies.

Wen said the government would increase supply of smaller medium and low price homes, continue to support home buyers, and curb speculation to allow the healthy development of the real estate sector.

Statistics from Goldman Sachs showed that over the past six years, the housing price hikes had outpaced income rises by 30 percentage points in Shanghai and 80 percentage points in Beijing.

In Beijing, the housing price per square meter is seven times the average monthly salary.

The soaring home prices had prompted fears that a property bubble was forming. The central government was taking measures to deflate the bubble.

OVERCAPACITY

Amid increasing concerns of industrial overcapacity, Wen said the 1.18-trillion-yuan investment planned by the central government for 2009-2010 had not been and would not be spent on any industrial projects.

"The central government has spent 590 billion yuan this year mainly on affordable housing projects, infrastructure construction in rural areas, improving people's livelihoods, environmental protection, technological reform and building necessary infrastructure, such as the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway and major highway networks," he said.

"Industrial overcapacity has been a global issue, which fundamentally results from less demand and a shrinking market," Wen said.

In China, industrial overcapacity was also a result of the long-existing problem of an imbalanced economic structure, he said.

In October, 10 government departments jointly warned that China's economic recovery could be hampered by chaotic expansion, especially in the steel, cement, plate glass, coal chemical, poly-crystaline silicon and wind power equipment sectors.

"To resolve the problem of overcapacity, the most important thing is to take economic, environmental, legal and, if necessary, administrative measures to eliminate outdated capacity and, in particular, restrict the development of high-energy-consuming and polluting industries with excess capacity," Wen said.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】


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