China to improve evaluation system to cut GDP obsession

Updated: 2013-11-20 19:05


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BEIJING - China will improve its evaluation system for measuring economic performance, putting greater emphasis on growth quality to cut local obsession with GDP data, according to the head of the country's top economic planner.

China will increase the weight of factors such as resource consumption, environmental cost, work safety and local debt in assessing local economic growth, and put more emphasis on employment, resident income, social security and people's health, Xu Shaoshi, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said during an interview Tuesday.

"This is intended to guide local authorities to shift more attention to economic restructuring," he said, adding that the new mechanism will take regional differences into consideration.

In past decades, the promotion of Chinese officials largely hinged on economic performance, which prompted local governments to boost growth by investing in capital- and energy-intensive industries despite environmental costs.

As China tries to bring the economy onto a more sustainable track, the central authorities have been at pains to fix obsessions with GDP figures.

Earlier this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China will not assess the performance of officials simply based on their records of boosting the economy, and promised to adopt more comprehensive criteria.

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