Regional poverty-relief pilot scheme launched

Updated: 2011-11-16 01:04


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JISHOU - A trans-provincial trial scheme for poverty relief was launched in China's central and western regions on Tuesday in a new initiative to reduce poverty and boost balanced development.

A ceremony was held in the city of Jishou, Hunan province, to mark the launch of the pilot scheme at the Wuling Mountain region that covers 71 underdeveloped counties in the provinces of Hubei, Hunan, Guizhou, and Chongqing municipality.

Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu, who chaired the ceremony, said the pilot project would pave the way for full implementation of the trans-provincial poverty-relief work nationwide in the coming decade.

It is a key innovation project in line with goals set in the development-oriented Poverty Reduction Program for Rural China (2011-2020), Hui said.

The central and local governments should exert concerted efforts in injecting financial support, mobilizing the public as well as establishing effective oversight and evaluation system, in order to boost regional development and alleviate poverty, he added.

Apart from Wuling Mountain, the central government pledged to set up 10 other trans-provincial poverty-reduction projects, located mainly in mountain areas in central and western parts of China.

Meanwhile, three special regional projects are also target regions with concentrated populations of ethnic groups, including Tibet autonomous region, the Tibetan prefectures in Sichuan province, and the southern Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Hui also urged poverty-relief efforts in these areas, and asked officials to learn from the Wuling Mountain pilot project.

Hui said these projects would help balance regional development and boost social harmony. The implementation of the projects would also promote national unity and the nation's efforts to build a comprehensively prosperous society for its people, Hui said.

In April, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China convened to discuss the guideline for the poverty-alleviation work for the next decade, stipulating that the growth rate of the per capita net income for farmers in poverty-ridden areas should exceed the national average by 2020.

By the end of last year, the rural population with an annual income below the poverty line of 1,274 yuan ($202) dropped 25.3 percent to 26.88 million, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.