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NPC session hears 2002 plan for economic and social development      
   THU, MAR 07, 2002    

Top priority will be given to key areas related to national economic and social development. This was the main thrust of the State Development Planning Minister, Zeng Peiyan's report. He was speaking to the National People's Congress currently underway in Beijing.

At the beginning of his report, the minister, reviewed the achievements made last year. He said China's economy grew fairly rapidly in 2001 with GDP reaching 9.6 trillion yuan or some 1.2 trillion US dollars, an increase of 7.3 percent over the previous year. The general price level rose by 0.7 percent. The total volume of imports and exports exceeded 500 billion US dollars, up 7.5 percent year-on-year. The fiscal revenue increased and fiscal deficit was successfully controlled within budgeted limits. Last year, China enjoyed a favorable balance of international payments. The national foreign exchange reserves hit 212.2 billion US dollars at the end of 2001, about 47 billion more than at the end of the previous year.

Then, Zeng Peiyan outlined the main tasks be completed in 2002. He says in the new year, China will maintain policies to boost domestic demand, deepen various reforms, open wider to the outside world, speed up economic restructuring and rectifying the market order.

The main tasks include:

(1) Keeping the economic growth rate at about 7 percent;

(2) Increasing social fixed assets investment by about 10 percent;

(3) Raising the general price level of commodities at a margin of 1 to 2 percent;

(4) Finding possible measures to maintain the growth of foreign trade;

(5) Confining the fiscal deficit to a 310 billion yuan limit;

(6) Maintaining a cash supply of than 150 billion yuan and broad and narrow money grow by about 13 percent;

(7) Realizing the registered unemployment rate within 4.5 percent in urban and township areas;

(8) Limiting the population increase rate to less than 0,8%

In addition, the minister also said, " to achieve the above-mentioned goals, China should strengthen its rural infrastructure, find more channels to improve farmers' income, make better use of long-term treasury bonds, create more job opportunities and raise people's living standards."

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