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Farmer Peasants Hope to Increase Income, Ease Burdens
Deputies to the current annual session of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC) have expressed their appreciation of a new yardstick put forward by Premier Zhu Rongji for measuring government's work in rural areas.

In his government work report delivered to the NPC session, Premier Zhu Rongji stressed that the yardstick for measuring government's work is whether farmer peasants' income is raised and whether their burdens are lightened.

Li Dezhang, a deputy from east China's Shandong Province, said that this yardstick is very important and popular among farmer peasants. Li, now 63, has served as a village cadre since his twenties.

Wang Yufen, another deputy from Shandong who has worked in rural areas for years, said that the yardstick is of great significance in guiding rural work, when China faces challenges arising from its WTO (World Trade Organization) membership, especially in the agricultural sector.

Deputies from central China's Henan Province said that this yardstick is conducive to combating formalism and bureaucratism in rural work.

For a long period of time after the founding of New China, grain output or agricultural output value were used to judge the rural work of local governments, and some officials adulterated statistics to exaggerate their achievements.

In his government work report, Premier Zhu stressed acceleration of agricultural and rural economic restructuring, industrialization of agricultural operations and modernization of traditional agricultural for the purpose of achieving the goal of raising the income of farmer peasants.

To this end, deputy Wang Yufen called for paying high attention to the standardization of agricultural production so as to meet challenges to China's agricultural sector after China entered WTO.

(Xinhua News Agency March 15, 2002)

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