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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

China sees 7.5% growth this year in spite of roadblocks

Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times  Beijing, March 05, 2013
First Published: 15:49 IST(5/3/2013) | Last Updated: 22:25 IST(5/3/2013)

China is looking at a healthy growth rate of 7.5% for 2013-14 despite a worldwide economic turmoil and troubling domestic issues like uncoordinated growth and overcapacity in manufacturing industries, outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao said Tuesday.

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"This year's economic growth target of around 7.5% is necessary and appropriate, and we need to work hard to achieve it," Wen said, addressing delegates to the National People’s Congress (NPC) during the inauguration of its annual session at the Great Hall of the People.

The Premier was presenting the 2013 draft plan for China’s economic and social development.

This was Wen’s last address to the nearly 3,000 NPC delegates as he readies to vacate his chair for Li Keqiang during the session.

Wen said China was facing several risks and challenges in its economic development. Internationally, he added that the global economy was growing sluggishly and developed economies were subject to financial ricks.

But domestically too, China was beset with problems, Wen added.

"Domestically, unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development remains a serious problem and is very acute in some areas," he said.

Another problem was overcapacity.

"Overcapacity is a serious problem. Traditional manufacturing industries especially those that are energy intensive and have high emissions are plagued by overcapacity and some emerging industries are undergoing haphazard development…," he said.

On the topic of environment, Wen said: "We will cut both energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by more than 3.7% and continue to reduce the discharge of major pollutants."

He added that China would formulate a national master strategy for adapting to climate change.

Wen said he expected foreign trade to grow by 8% this year.

"We should both keep exports stable and expand imports. We should raise the quality and returns of foreign trade rather than just increase its volume, and raise its overall competitive advantages instead of relying on cost and price advantages."

MAJOR TARGETS FOR 2013
-- Gross domestic product (GDP) grows about 7.5%.
-- Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase will be kept around 3.5%.
-- A deficit of 1.2 trillion yuan (190.48 billion U.S. dollars) is projected, 400 billion more than the budgeted figure last year and accounting for 2% of GDP.
-- Add more than 9 million urban jobs.
-- Keep the registered urban unemployment rate at or below 4.6%.
-- The government will work to ensure that real per capita income for urban and rural residents increases in step with economic growth.
 
FISCAL AND MONETARY POLICIES FOR 2013
-- China will continue to implement a proactive fiscal policy. The government will give priority to education, medical and health care, social security and other weak areas that are important to people's wellbeing.
-- China will continue to implement a prudent monetary policy. The target for growth of the broad money supply (M2) is about 13%.
 
PROGRESS IN PAST FIVE YEARS
-- China's GDP increased from 26.6 trillion yuan to 51.9 trillion yuan, now the world' s second most, by an average annual growth of 9.3%.
-- Government revenue went up from 5.1 trillion yuan to 11.7 trillion yuan.
-- The per capita disposable income of urban residents rose by 8.8% annually, and the per capita net income of rural residents rose by 9.9%.
-- Energy consumption per unit of GDP fell by 17.2%.
-- Total chemical oxygen demand, a key index for water quality, fell by 15.7%.
-- Total sulfur dioxide emissions fell by 17.5%.
-- The government spending on education totaled 7.79 trillion yuan over the past five years and increased annually by 21.58% to reach 4% of GDP in 2012.
-- The basic old-age insurance system now covers both urban and rural residents, with a total of 790 million people joining various old-age insurance schemes.
-- A basic medical insurance system that covers the whole population is taking shape, and over 1.3 billion people are now covered by different medical insurance schemes.
-- The average life expectancy reached 75 years.
 
WHAT TO DO THIS YEAR
-- This year, basic pensions for enterprise retirees should be raised by 10%, and subsistence allowances for urban and rural residents and subsidies for entitled groups should also be further raised.
-- The country will conduct a pilot project to insure against childhood leukemia and 19 other serious diseases.
-- This year, annual government subsidies for the new rural cooperative medical care system and basic medical insurance for non-working urban residents should be raised from 240 yuan to 280 yuan per person respectively.
-- The per person payment standard for basic public health services should be increased from 25 yuan to 30 yuan.
-- This year the country will complete 4.7 million government-subsidized urban housing units, start construction of another 6.3 million units and continue to renew dilapidated rural houses.

SOURCE-State-run Xinhua News Agency


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