Local leaders' role for growth
Updated: 2015-05-07 07:48
Chinese workers labor at the factory of Pioneer Electronics (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. in Shanghai. [Photo/IC]
Although China's economy is believed to have entered a new normal of slower but sustainable growth, decision-makers have demonstrated enough confidence they will be able to keep growth within a reasonable range.
The latest central bank decision to lower the reserve requirement ratio by one percentage point, which came after the two previous interest rate cuts and one reserve rate cut made since the end of last year, indicates the authorities' resolve to stabilize growth while trying to maintain the continuity and stability of macroeconomic policies.
The 7 percent growth in the first quarter, although the lowest in years, is not disheartening compared with other major economies. However, China's top leaders have displayed their determination to keep economic growth and prices within a reasonable range through targeted macroeconomic regulations, such as the adoption of preferential taxation and credit policies for small and micro-sized enterprises, and rate and deposit reserve cuts for banks focused on agricultural credit.
A series of moves the country has taken, from increased investment in high-speed railways, power, telecommunications, railways, and other infrastructure projects, also mean that decision-makers are committed to preventing the economy from excessively running out of steam.
The vowed shift from the past GDP-oriented development model does not mean GDP is not important any more, it means the country will pursue higher quality growth by moderately slowing the pace of growth. This means a heavier burden on local officials, but that is not an excuse for a passive working attitude or even inaction, a worrisome phenomenon that has emerged among some local officials, especially in the context of the intensified crackdown on corruption.
Local officials should better understand the central government's policy and regulatory approach. They should know that the top leaders' commitment not to launch strong stimulus packages means they have an important role to play in stabilizing growth and cultivating new areas for economic growth.
The above is an abridgement of a People's Daily article published on Wednesday.