|China sets new targets in five-year plan|
New goals are set in the draft Guidelines of the 11th Five-Year (2006-2010) Plan for National Economic and Social Development, under deliberation by the deputies at the ongoing Fourth Session of the Tenth National People's Congress (NPC).
Bai Hejin, one of the experts responsible for drafting the guidelines and former head of the Macro-economy Research Institute under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), interpreted with Beijing Times some of the new goals.
7.5 percent of average annual GDP growth
In the government work report delivered Sunday, Premier Wen Jiabao proposed an annual growth rate of 7.5 percent for the national economy from 2006 to 2010.
On determining the growth rate, Bai Hejin said, more considerations have been taken for the requirement of the scientific concept of development.
Bai said it was predicted that the average annual economic growth rate in the 10th Five Year (2001-2005) Plan Period was between 8.8 and 9 percent, which was at a relatively high level. Comparatively speaking, the 7.5 percent seems low, but it actually indicates a wish for a steady growth.
According to previous targets, a double of the GDP in 2000 is proposed for 2010. However, this time, with the factor of population growth included, the concept of per capita GDP is used. That will amount to 2,400 U.S. dollars in 2010, in comparison with 1,700 U.S. dollars in 2005. For this target to be met, a growth of 4 percent is well enough, so what is the reason for the 7.5 percent? Bai answered that it means we should on the one hand prevent an overheated economy, and on the other fully seize the present good opportunity for development -- the figure is a result of a balance between the two.
In addition, the national goal has some impact on various regions as seen in higher local objectives than the nation's. To avoid unduly high local figures, the national goals should be set relatively low.
5% of annual growth rate of per capita disposable income for urban residents
It is proposed that people's living standards continue to be improved. The per capita disposable income of urban residents and the per capita net income of rural residents will grow at an average annual rate of five percent respectively. The livelihood of both urban and rural residents will see improvements in terms of housing, transportation, education, culture, health and environment.
As Bai interpreted, China strives to realize a balance between the growths of the incomes of people in urban and rural areas to avoid a further widening of income gap.
The same pace were set for the above two growths for the past five years, but the former ended up 9.6 percent and the latter 5 percent. In 2005, the per capita annual income of urban residents was 10,493 yuan, and is planned to reach 13,390 yuan in 2010; the per capita annual income of rural residents was 3,255 yuan and is expected to reach 4,150 yuan.
45 million new jobs in urban areas
In the draft guidelines, the registered unemployment rate in urban areas is planned to be controlled under five percent. And an addition of 45 million people will be employed with the same number of agricultural laborers to be transferred into non-farm jobs and urban areas.
20 percent less of energy consumption
China expects remarkable progress in energy consumption efficiency. Energy consumption per unit GDP should be about 20 percent less than before and water consumption per unit industrial added value down by 30 percent. The coefficient for water use efficiency in irrigation is to be raised to 0.5 and the comprehensive utilization rate of solid wastes to 60 percent.
Bai said in the predicted GDP growth between 8.8 and 9 percent in the past five years, the losses as a result of huge wasting and pollution have taken up more than 2 percent of the GDP.
"There is no need to damage environment for a high growth," Bai said, "in the coming years, if we can cut environmental pollution by one percentage point, then the value created out of the 7.5 percent growth rate will stand equivalent to that out of 8.5 percent. Moreover, people will enjoy more benefit with improved environment."
The proposed decrease of 20 percent in energy and 30 percent in water as mentioned above are goals that must be realized, Bai added. In the future, the central government will conduct inspection in various regions, and coal, water and power supply will be cut for those who fail to make it. Therefore, the economic development in every region should focus on the prerequisite of saving energy. This is also in line with the country's development of a circular economy.