Reforms seek to create larger middle class

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China's top legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), has proposed a quick launch of reforms in income distribution to curb the widening wealth gap in the country.

The proposal was included in a research report on distribution of national income completed by the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee of the NPC.

The research report proposes increasing the proportion of both residents' incomes and labor rewards in the nation's gross domestic product (GDP).

The reforms should seek to enlarge the middle class until it becomes the largest sector in society, the proposals say. The report also offers proposals on taxation and social security.

The legislature has not released further details on the proposed income distribution reforms.

The NPC, for the first time in history, completed 15 research reports on 14 major subjects from March to July to provide proposals for the formulation of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15).

The reports were presented by Wang Wanbin, vice secretary-general of the NPC Standing Committee, at the bimonthly session of the committee, which opened on Monday.

The proposed reforms come at a time when more and more Chinese are complaining that the country's economic growth has failed to benefit their incomes.

The proportion of the total income that Chinese citizens receive from the distribution of national income fell sharply to 57.9 percent in 2007, compared to 68 percent 20 years ago, according to the People's Bank of China.

Zhang Jianguo, chief of the collective contracts department with the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), said in May that the proportion of China's GDP that makes up wages and salaries has been shrinking for 22 consecutive years.

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