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Top economic planner takes blame for inflation


08:38, March 06, 2012

Zhang Ping (C), minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, speaks at a press conference of the Fifth Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, capital of China, March 5, 2012. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- China's chief economic planner blamed himself Monday for failing to rein in the country's consumer prices last year.

"China's consumer price growth hit 5.4 percent last year, exceeding the growth target of around 4 percent set at the beginning of 2011. As the head of the government department in charge of controlling prices, I would like to offer self-criticism on this occasion," Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, told a press conference.

Zhang described last year's economic situation as "very grave," adding that the runaway growth was the result of unsatisfactory government work in certain aspects.

Zhang also noted that the country's inflation rate eased to 4.1 percent in December last year, after hitting a 37-month high of 6.5 percent in July, due to "considerable and hard" work on the part of the government.

China aims to continue to limit this year's consumer price growth to around 4 percent, according to a government work report delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao at the annual parliamentary session on Monday.

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