Sessions address farmers´ woes, economic growth 03-08-2004 09:15

China's top advisory body, the CPPCC, has decided to revise its charter to meet the needs of the country's reform and modernization drive. Participants at the ongoing sessions of China's legislature and the government's top advisory body on Mar.7 also turned their attention to the plight of the countryside, especially the disparity between urban and rural development.

They urged the government to increase subsidies to the agricultural sector, as well as address the difficulties faced by farmers.

In his work report Premier Wen Jiabao offered more details, saying Chinese farmers will benefit by receiving some 22 billion yuan in waived taxes and direct agricultural subsidies. The move will be one of the significant steps that the Chinese government takes to address the woes of farmers, as well as to boost agricultural and rural development. Participants at the two sessions say these measures will give a shot in the arm to the country's agriculture, and its rural economy.

As for economic growth, China has adjusted its targeted growth rate for this year to 7%, trimming some two percentage points from that of 2003. The forecast signals that China is striving to create a more balanced social development in its market-economy.

Economists say China could easily double its GDP by 2020 at a growth rate of a little more than 7%. But by revising down its target, the government is sending the message that it will not pursue lop-sided rapid economic growth at the price of social improvement.


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