Party members could be asked to pay 10 percent extra on their annual membership fees to help revitalize the struggling economies of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, the Economic Observer reported on Thursday.
A tourist takes pictures with a folk dancer in Yan'an, Shaanxi Province, on May 14. A major power base for the Communist Party of China in 1935-49, Yan'an is a pilgrimage destination for Party members from across the country.
A draft development plan completed its final round of consultation in Xi'an, capital city of Shaanxi Province, on May 26, and now awaits final State Council approval, the Shandong Province, Ji'nan-based newspaper reported.
"I never heard of a special Communist Party fee of this kind in the history of the Communist Party of China (CPC)," Liu Zonghong, director of the History Teaching and Research Department of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Party School, told the Global Times.
If approved, all CPC members will pay the special fee for 10 years in a gesture toward the revolutionary bases of support for the Party during the final phase of the Chinese Civil War (1945-49).
Party members earning 3,000 yuan ($463) a month or less already currently pay up to 180 yuan a year membership fees, according to 2008 membership fee regulations issued by the CPC Central Committee.
Those on 5,000 yuan a month pay a 1 percent annual fee of 600 yuan, while 10,000 yuan salary earners pay 1,800 yuan a year.
Those earning more than 10,000 yuan a month pay 2 percent: 2,400 yuan and upwards.
Retirees, students, the unemployed and farmers get discounts.
The 10-percent extra fee will be deployed to develop grass-roots CPC organizations and improve the standard of living of people in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, the Economic Observer reported.
Red tourism remains the major industry in those areas, the 21st Century Business Herald reported, but tourism alone could not develop the region.
The three regions had proposed building an economic zone to the central government in 2008, and a draft plan was formed at the beginning of 2011, the Guangzhou-based newspaper reported.
As this year marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Development Research Center of the State Council and the governments of the three regions agreed the time ripe for the revolutionary development plan.