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Central government to finance 226 key projects in Tibet over next five years

(Xinhua)

16:52, September 14, 2011

LHASA, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's central government will finance 226 key projects involving a combined investment of more than 300 billion yuan (46.89 billion U.S. dollars) between 2011 and 2015 in order to foster Tibet's social and economic development.

"The projects, aimed at achieving rapid development in Tibet, will cost 330.5 billion yuan in total," said Hao Peng, executive vice chairman of Tibet's regional government, at an internal meeting held on Tuesday.

The projects will cover infrastructure construction, environmental protection, housing, health care, social security, vocational training and other areas concerning the livelihood of the Tibetans, he said.

"By the end of 2015, a total of 193 billion yuan will have been spent on these projects," he said.

Nearly half of the investment, or 90.5 billion U.S. dollars, will be spent on key infrastructure projects, including a railway linking Tibet's capital city of Lhasa with its second largest city Xigaze. Other projects will include new highways linking Tibet with China's interior regions and the construction of the Zangmu Hydropower Station, said Hao.

About 33 percent of the investment will be used to accelerate social and economic growth in Tibet's rural areas by building new roads, homes and irrigation systems, as well as providing tap water, electricity and gas to rural homes. The investment will also be used to provide adequate health care and social welfare services for rural residents.

About 8 percent of the investment will be used to foster the development of indigenous industries, including tourism, mining, agriculture and stockbreeding.

Five percent of the investment will go to environmental protection, including the protection of wetland and pastures, soil erosion reduction programs and urban sewage treatment, he said.

During the 2006-2010 period, the central government earmarked 137.8 billion yuan to build 188 key infrastructure projects in Tibet.

Last year, the central government pledged to foster "leapfrog development" and "lasting peace and stability" in Tibet.

By 2020, the per capita net income of rural Tibetans should be close to the national average level, according to a plan for Tibet's social and economic development announced early last year.

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