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|Thursday, June 29, 2000, updated at 21:58(GMT+8)|
Rural Power Grid Renovation Project EffectiveThe nationwide power grid renovation project in China's rural areas, which started two years ago, has begun to boost the economy in those areas and the national economy as a whole.
The project has brought down electricity prices in rural areas, Zeng Peiyan, minister in charge of the State Development Planning Commission, said today at a televised conference, adding that the changes have helped to save 23 billion yuan for farmers annually.
As a result, an increasing number of farmers now can afford electric home appliances. In 1999, total electricity consumption in rural areas rose 9.7 percent, higher than the national average.
By the end of May this year, some 80 billion yuan had been injected into the project to complete the power grid rehab projects in 512 counties. And another 54.64 billion yuan has been earmarked to wind up similar projects in over 1,000 counties.
Statistics show that more than 1.5 million people are involved in the work, which has helped to ease the country's unemployment problem.
To support the strategy of developing China's western areas, the central government has decided to change the loans in treasury bonds into appropriations for the project in the west to increase investment returns.
Zeng called on localities to speed up the project, tighten control over project quality and acceptance, ban any unauthorized fee charging, and set standard electricity prices for both rural and urban residents.
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