Premier on Economic Issues

Premier Zhu Rongji said next year China will cement and extend its achievement in getting state-owned enterprises (SOEs) out of difficulties and SOE reform, and attach more importance to the status of agriculture as the foundation of the national economy.

During a recent inspection tour to east China, the premier also urged to accelerate the improvement of the social security system,and regulate the market economic order in order to achieve faster economic growth next year.

Zhu inspected rural financial reform, enterprise reform and future development, social security system, and market economic order in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces from December 7 to 13.

He noted that as the economy takes a major turn for the better, the adjustment of agricultural structure could not meet the demand of the economic situation. There has been a slow increase in farmers' income and in some major grain-producing areas, farmers even earned less.

He urged that the problems be solved immediately to avoid negative impact on the stability and development of China's rural areas, or even the national economy.

He asked governments at all levels to vigorously push ahead the readjustment of the agricultural and rural economic structure; develop planting, breeding and high-yield agriculture suited to local conditions; try every means to extend the channels of raising farmers' income; further reform the circulation systems of agro-products; actively promote the rural fee-to-tax reform and fundamentally reduce the burdens on farmers; and step up infrastructure construction in agriculture and rural areas to improve farmers' production and living conditions.

On the rural credit cooperative (RCC), the premier said that full play should be given to RCC's role as the main force in rural finance and the bond linking farmers. The RCC should adhere to its principle of serving agriculture, rural areas, and farmers.

The RCC reform has achieved some positive results and quite a few problems are yet to be solved, Zhu said.

The premier hailed as a remarkable achievement that China has basically realized its target to deepen the SOE reform and pull most of the large and medium-sized SOEs out of difficulties within three years.

The SOEs, however, need to transform their management mechanism, and raise their innovative capabilities, competitiveness and profitability, Zhu said, adding that there is still a long way to go for SOE reform and development.

He encouraged large and medium-sized SOEs to adopt a shareholding system by getting themselves listed, a move he said will help pool funds, transform management mechanisms, and place the operation of the SOEs under public supervision.

He said that every entrepreneur should have a pioneering spirit and determination to blaze new trails to make a success of their enterprise.

On the building of the social security system, the premier said that it is a major issue that impacts on China's reform, development and stability.

He promised that laid-off workers of SOEs and retired workers will have their basic allowances and pension distributed adequately and punctually. The central government will make public information of allowance and pension distribution of all administrative regions.

China will gradually replace the basic allowances for laid-off workers with unemployment insurance. Northeast China's Liaoning Province and several other provinces have been selected as the pilot places for the reform.

Another important task for next year's economic work is to regulate the market economic order, said the premier. The central government is determined to fight against tax fraud, smuggling, manufacturing or selling of counterfeit and inferior quality commodities, sleights of hands in bidding for construction projects.

He asked local financial departments to provide adequate funds for the police and other law-enforcement departments to crack down on various economic crimes and to safeguard an orderly market economy and social stability.

(People's Daily 12/14/2000)

In This Series

Fighting Tax Fraud

Premier Zhu Stresses Agriculture

Nation Protects Rights of Investors



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