Tibet to Get State Help for Progress

A major cash injection for Tibet will help open the area up to overseas investment and tourism and boost the salaries of public servants, it was learned yesterday.

Tibet is expected to receive a total of 700 million yuan (US$84 million) in development funding from the central government and other provinces and municipalities over the next four years as part of China's 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05).

Legqog, head of the Tibet Autonomous Region government, said in an interview with Hong Kong correspondents this week that during the five-year period, the central government alone has pledged to allocate 379 million yuan (US$46 million) to Tibet, doubling the amount of the past five years.

The central government has also decided to support Tibet's social and economic development by adopting preferential policies in over a dozen fields.

Preferential Policies

Legqog said the preferential policies include that of taxes and finance, investment and inter-bank loans as well as prices and wages.

The central government has revealed plans for 117 construction projects for Tibet, including the 120 million yuan (US$14 million) Tibet section of the Qinghai-Tibet railway.

Other provinces and municipalities will help build 70 infrastructural projects and will assist with agricultural and environmental development, he said.

Legqog stressed that Tibet will gradually open more areas, including the border areas, to overseas tourists and businessmen and introduce more overseas investment.

Legqog said that the central government has adopted a preferential salary policy for Tibet.

He said public servants and employees of social institutions can expect to have salaries 2.5 times higher than the country's average.

The official said he believes that the new policy would help encourage regional development. He did not however say when the new policy would be implemented.

(China Daily 08/11/2001)

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