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China vows to boost domestic consumption


08:15, April 18, 2013

BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhua) -- The government has listed boosting domestic consumption and maintaining proper investment scale as an important economic task in the coming period.

The State Council, China's cabinet, on Wednesday analyzed the domestic economic situation in the first quarter, vowing to coordinate the targets of maintaining steady growth, taming inflation and guarding against risks in future economic work.

China should maintain continuity and stability in its macro-economic policies, with more efforts to deepen reform and intensify structural adjustments, according to a document issued after an executive cabinet meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

The National Bureau of Statistics on Monday released a slew of economic data, including data indicating that China's gross domestic product growth hit 7.7 percent in the first quarter of 2013, down from 7.9 percent during the final quarter of 2012.

The cabinet said the domestic economy ran smoothly in the January-March period, with major economic indicators within reasonable ranges.

However, confronted with complex domestic and global environments and various problems restricting development, the government needs to strengthen foresight, be pragmatic and take initiative, according to the statement.

At the meeting, the cabinet set key tasks for future economic work. It said effective efforts must be made to guard against risks in local government debts and credit markets, pledging to enhance market oversight and improve products and services.

The government will cut and adjust items requiring administrative approval. It will also make the list available to the public to encourage private investment and inspire entrepreneurship.

Reforms in the fiscal and taxation system, as well as in the pricing mechanism for resource products, will be deepened, the cabinet said, adding that active and proper steps will be taken to liberalize interest rates and make the Chinese yuan convertible under the capital account.

The country will also continue to expand effective domestic demand while keeping investment at a reasonable scale. It will speed up the process of eliminating backward industrial capacity, said the statement.

In the agricultural sector, the cabinet has vowed to increase effective supply, ensure funds for agriculture and cope with natural disasters in a timely manner.

It also urged local authorities to ensure balanced market supply and demand and keep consumer price index stable in general.

In addition, more efforts will be put forth to guarantee and improve people's livelihoods, including efforts to boost employment and improve the social security system, accelerate construction of affordable housing and ensure that it is fairly distributed.

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