The Chinese government is working on policies to boost domestic consumption, especially in automobile, housing, telecommunications, information provision and tourism sectors, Zeng Peiyan, minister of the State Development Planning Commission, said Thursday.
The minister made these remarks while reporting on the implementation of the national economic and social development plan to legislators attending the 17th Session of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC).
Zeng said measures to increase consumption will include eliminating all unreasonable charges and all forms of local protectionism in the car market, building houses that normal earners can afford, renting cheap houses to people with low incomes, increasing the transparency of the real estate market, lowering telecom charges and improving the quality of telecom services, investing in the construction of tourism facilities and developing new public health, education and old-age care services.
The government will continue to invest in roads, water supplies, communication and other forms of infrastructure in rural areas so that farmers will have a better consumption environment, Zeng said.
Zeng also said the government will move to further protect consumer interests and fight against counterfeit goods as well as promote modern sales methods and keep order in the market.
China will improve the tax collection system and will collect the estate tax as soon as possible, Zeng added.
China has overcome the difficulties caused by the southeast Asian financial crisis, Zeng told the senior legislators.
The country's gross domestic product in the first half of this year hit 3.949 trillion yuan (US$478 billion), 8.2 percent more than in the corresponding period of last year, according to Zeng.
Zeng attributed the "obvious positive changes" in the first seven months of this year to the implementation of a pro-active fiscal policy and a stable currency policy.
The country needs to continue its pro-active fiscal policy and increase investments to keep the economy growing, Zeng said.
The State Council has proposed to issue an additional 50 billion yuan (US$6 billion) of long-term State treasury bonds to increase the amount of investment in the infrastructure of the western regions to the ongoing session of NPC Standing Committee.
Zeng pledged to improve the management and supervision of the quality of the projects funded by state treasury bonds.
The proposal will be put to the vote today when the senior legislators end their meeting.