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Highlights of Chinese Premier Wen's gov't work report(03/05/08)

Special Report: NPC, CPPCC Annual Sessions 2008
 
     BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will deliver a government work report at the opening meeting of the First Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC), the top legislature, in the Great Hall of the People on Wednesday.

    Following are the highlights of the Report on the Work of the Government distributed to journalists before the opening of the NPC session.

    TARGETS FOR ECONOMIC, SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

    On the basis of improving the economic structure, productivity, energy efficiency and environmental protection:

    -- GDP should grow by about 8 percent in 2008,

    -- Rise in the CPI should be held at around 4.8 percent,

    -- Ten million jobs should be created in urban areas, and the rate of registered urban, and unemployment should be kept at around 4.5 percent,

    -- Some improvement made in the balance of payments.

    FISCAL, MONETARY POLICY

    -- China needs to follow a prudent fiscal policy and a tight monetary policy this year to accomplish the tasks for macroeconomic regulation.

    -- The deficit for the central government budget this year is set at 180 billion yuan, 65 billion yuan less than last year. China plans to issue 30 billion yuan of treasury bonds for investment, 20 billion yuan less than last year, and increase allocations from the central government budget for general development, bringing total central government investment in development projects up to 152.1 billion yuan.

    INVESTMENTS IN WEAK LINKS, SOCIAL PROGRAMS

    -- Allocations from this year's central government budget related to agriculture, rural areas and farmers total 562.5 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 130.7 billion yuan.

    -- The central government will spend 113.4 billion yuan on science and technology in 2008, a year-on-year increase of 13.4 billion yuan.

    -- Central government allocation for education, medical insurance, health care, social security system, low-rent housing program, and safe drinking water for another 32 million rural residents.

    -- China has drawn up a preliminary plan on the health care reform which will soon be publicized to solicit opinions from the general public.

    FOOD SUPPLY

    -- Provincial governors are to be responsible for the "rice bag" (grain supply) program and city mayors for the "vegetable basket" (no-staple food supply) program.

    FOOD SAFETY

    -- China will complete the formulation or updating of more than7,700 national standards for the safety of food products, drugs and other consumer goods to put in place a sound system of standards for product safety in line with "international standards."

    ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT

    -- China will implement the plan to close down backward production facilities in the electricity, steel, cement, coal and papermaking industries.

    -- China will increase the urban sewage treatment capacity and strive to reach the goal of 100percent collection and treatment of sewage in 36 large cities within two years.

    BANKING REFORM

    -- Shareholding system will to be introduced to the Agriculture Bank of China, and the China Development Bank will be reformed this year.

    STOCK MARKET

    -- China will establish a market for growth enterprises, accelerate development of the bond market and steadily develop the futures market, while striving to improve the performance of listed companies, and maintaining an open, fair and equitable market environment.

    FOREIGN INVESTMENT

    -- China will limit or ban foreign investment in projects that are energy intensive or highly polluting, limit or ban foreign investment in some areas of resource exploitation, and correct illegal practices for attracting foreign investment.

    FREE COMPULSORY EDUCATION

    -- China will realize free compulsory education universally available in both urban and rural areas this year when it stops collecting tuition and miscellaneous fees from urban students in autumn.

    OLYMPICS

    -- China will prepare for and organize the Games well, strengthen cooperation with the international community, and create an excellent environment to ensure that the Games are a unique, well-run sporting event.

    SUPER MINISTRIES

    -- A plan for the reform of bodies of the State Council to be tabled with this Session will explore ways to establish larger departments that organically integrate the functions of smaller departments, to resolve the problem of overlapping responsibilities and of powers not being matched by responsibilities.

    TAIWAN ISSUE

    -- The mainland will work for the early resumption of cross-Straits negotiations on the basis of the one-China principle to address major issues of concern to compatriots on both sides.

    -- The mainland firmly opposes "Taiwan independence" secessionist activities, and will never allow anyone to separate Taiwan from the motherland in any guise or by any means.

    -- Any issue that concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be decided by all the Chinese people, including Taiwan compatriots.

    -- The attempts of "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces to deny the reality that the mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same China and to undermine peace in the Taiwan Straits are doomed to fail.

Editor: Jiang Yuxia
 


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