Road map for social, economic development unfolded
Updated: 2011-03-06 08:18
By Li Xing (China Daily)
Premier Wen Jiabao gestures while delivering the government work report at the opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress. [Photo by Wu Zhiyi/China Daily]
Wen vows to improve people's livelihoods and ensure more share in the fruits of nation's growth
BEIJING - Premier Wen Jiabao on Saturday unfolded the road map for China's social and economic development during the next five years, setting targets for the quality and efficiency of economic growth and speaking about the transformation of the growth mode and economic restructuring.
While delivering his annual government work report, he also listed other priorities that include improving people's well-being, advancing education and healthcare, conserving natural resources and protecting the environment.
The draft plan will become official guidelines after it is endorsed by the almost 3,000 deputies.
According to Wen, the major focus of the government's work this year will include reining in inflation by keeping the consumer price index, a major gauge of rising costs, to an increase of about 4 percent.
The government will also boost the incomes of farmers and pensioners, increase consumer demand, enhance agricultural development and speed up economic restructuring.
"Ensuring an adequate food supply for 1.3 billion Chinese people is always a top priority and we must never take this issue lightly," Wen said.
To achieve the 8-percent GDP growth goal for this year, Wen listed measures that will ensure more people share in the fruits of reforms and economic development. These include the creation of more than 9 million jobs, reducing the tax burden on low- and middle-income people and increasing government subsidies for the rural cooperative medical care system.
The overall growth goals for the coming five years are pragmatic, with average annual GDP growth set at 7 percent, 4.2 percentage points lower than China achieved on average between 2006 and 2010.
Despite calls from some officials and experts to speed up urbanization, the draft plan projects a 4-percent urban expansion rate, 0.5 percentage points lower than the actual urbanization growth rate during the past five years.
Meanwhile, income for urban and rural residents will increase by 7 percent on average during the coming five years.
Lawmakers and political advisers gather in Beijing to discuss major issues.
An automobile mechanic in Northeast China made a test flight of his self-made aircraft which cost about US$395.
Masked revellers celebrate in Saint Mark's Square in Venice.