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Spending consolidates poverty alleviation

(China Daily)    10:16, November 25, 2020

Staff present goods through livestream broadcast at the China Western Consumption Poverty Alleviation Center in Chongqing, Southwest China, on Oct 31, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

China has vowed to consolidate the poverty alleviation achievements through increased consumption.

It has already achieved the goal of lifting all counties that were on the country's poverty list out of absolute poverty.

During the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), the country will mainly focus on the regions and people that are facing tough poverty alleviation challenges, especially low-income people in the rural areas, said Tong Zhangshun, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission.

According to Tong, the country will also look to unlock the huge consumption potential and accelerate the formation of a sustainable development model that is guided by the government, led by the market, and has the society as its participants.

Tong said the NDRC and other departments are evaluating policies of poverty alleviation through consumption implemented during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period.

"After a comprehensive evaluation, we will study and propose recommendations for upgrading related policies in the next five years, a key move to consolidate the poverty alleviation achievements and further support the full vitalization of rural areas," he said during a State Council Information Office briefing in Beijing.

In the next step, the country will continue to spur the consumption of goods and services provided by areas recently removed from the poverty list, cultivate new supply chains and market entities, create new forms of businesses, support the production, circulation and sales for regional industries with local advantages and establish a mechanism of both incentives and regulation, said Tong.

Guo Lanfeng, deputy secretary-general of the NDRC, said that poverty alleviation through consumption is playing an increasingly important role in increasing local incomes and promoting the vitalization of rural areas.

With the government's effective measures to eradicate poverty, per capita income from net operation of rural residents in poor areas rose by 7.1 percent on a yearly basis to 4,163 yuan ($633) in 2019, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. The national poverty line set for this year is 4,000 yuan.

Despite huge disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the per capita net income rose by 4.9 percent on a yearly basis during the first six months of this year, much higher than the growth rate of China's GDP during the same period.

Lu Hong, government head of Wulong district in Chongqing, said the region has significantly benefited from the supportive policies to alleviate poverty through consumption.

"We faced a severe situation in the early days of the epidemic due to the impeded logistics. However, with the epidemic prevention and control measures in place, we have introduced a series of policies to promote poverty alleviation through consumption," she said.

Wulong district has identified 477 poverty alleviation products this year, involving 84 market entities. Consumption of agricultural products from poor areas reached more than 160 million yuan, benefiting over 3,300 families living below the poverty line, said Lu.

Lu said Wulong has already included consolidating the poverty alleviation achievements through consumption in its 14th Five-Year plan. More efforts will be made to boost local tourism, improve the quality of tourism and agricultural products and develop other industries with local advantages such as agriculture, she said.

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(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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