|Central government's support vital to development in Tibet(03/31/09)|
BEIJING, March 30 (Xinhua) -- The central government's strong financial support to Tibet and huge investment in its major projects played a vital role in the region's economic and social development, according to a report released Monday.
Most of the investment local governments in Tibet use to develop their economy was from the central government's fiscal transfer payment and input for various projects in Tibet, and assistance from more-developed inland provinces and cities, said the report, which was published by the China Tibetology Research Center.
Statistics showed that the central government's transfer payments to Tibet amounted to 201.9 billion yuan (28.8 billion U.S. dollars) between 1959 and 2008. The figure totaled more than 154.1 billion yuan between 2001 and 2008, making up 93.7 percent of Tibet's financial revenue in the same period, according to the report.
This means that for every 100 yuan that the region spent in its economic and social development, over 90 yuan came from the central government, the report said.
To accelerate Tibet's development, the central government held four Tibet work symposiums in Beijing in 1980, 1984, 1994 and 2001,providing more fiscal transfer payments and investment in key projects to Tibet. The symposiums also help bring into being a framework for all the other provinces, regions and municipalities in China to provide assistance to Tibet.
The Third Tibet Work Symposium decided upon 62 state-invested projects and 716 projects with assistance from other places, involving a total input of over 8 billion yuan, according to the report.
The Fourth Tibet Work Symposium decided upon 117 state-invested projects, involving a total investment of 31.2 billion yuan. In addition, other areas have assisted Tibet with 70 projects, involving a total investment exceeding 3 billion yuan.
In January 2007, the central government discussed and adopted in principle the Tibet Autonomous Region's Project Scheme in the 11th Five-Year Plan Period (2006-2010), pledging to invest 77.88 billion yuan to build 180 projects in Tibet. The total investment was expected to exceed 100 billion yuan, the report said.
With continuous support from the central government, the economy in Tibet developed by leaps and bounds. In 2008, the region's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached 39.591 billion yuan (5.66 billion U.S. dollars), and the per capita GDP reached 13,861yuan.
Although the per capita GDP in Tibet was much less than the national average of 22,698 yuan, it should be taken into account that the economic growth of Tibet started from a very low level. At the time of the 1959 democratic reform, the total output value of Tibet was only 174 million yuan, and per capita GDP was only 142 yuan, the report said.
In the six years from the 1959 democratic reform to 1965, when the Tibet Autonomous Region was established, Tibet's economic aggregate rocketed to 327 million yuan (46.7 million U.S. dollars), with an annual growth rate of 11.1 percent. Tibet's economy entered a stage of rapid development.
In 1984, the central government held the Second Tibet Work Symposium in Beijing, which decided to continue the special preferential policy for rehabilitation in Tibet's rural areas. In farming areas, "land should be used by individual farm households for their own production, a policy which would be kept unchanged for a long time to come", while in pastoral areas, "livestock should be owned and raised by individual herder households, a policy which would be kept unchanged for a long time to come," the report said.
In the same year, Tibet's government declared that it would carry out the policy of opening to China's inland areas and to other countries. For this, 1984 is usually regarded as a key year in Tibet's opening-up, according to the report.
The economic aggregate soared from 1.368 billion yuan in 1984 to 39.591 billion yuan in 2008, an increase of 11.3 times within 25 years calculated by comparable price, and the annual growth rate reached 10.5 percent, the report said.
To promote better and faster economic development in Tibet, the central government held the Fourth Tibet Work Symposium in 2001. The meeting decided upon 117 state-invested projects, involving a total of 31.2 billion yuan. In addition, the central government provided 38 billion yuan in financial subsidies, while 70 coordinated assistance projects and Tibet-aid funds from around the country involved more than 3 billion yuan, the report said.
Driven by such a huge investment, the economic aggregate of Tibet rose from 13.916 billion yuan in 2001 to 39.591 billion yuan in 2008, with a high annual growth rate of 12.4 percent. In 2006, the per capita GDP of Tibet exceeded 10,000 yuan, a milestone marking that Tibet was no longer in the last place in China economically, according to the report.