The new government document on increasing farmers' income is hailed as an indication that China's central leadership will give top priority to rural issues, a Xinhua commentator's article says Sunday.
The "No. 1 Document" on policies to boost the increase of farmer's income is jointly issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council. The draft document was put forward for in-depth discussion at a national working conference on rural issues last December, and the major points of it was released Sunday.
For five successive years from 1982 and 1986, the central leadership issued five "No. 1 Documents" on agriculture, the countryside and farmers, which helped liberate the initiative of Chinese farmers in agricultural production and resulted in rapid development of the rural economy.
This year's "No. 1 Document" of the central authorities is believed to "exert an important impact on China's economic and social life, and benefit the broad masses of farmers," the article says.
The article stresses that to raise farmers' income is to meet the demand for stepping up agricultural and rural development, keeping a sustained, rapid, balanced and healthy development of the national economy, realizing the goal of building a relatively affluent society in an all-round way, and maintaining social stability and lasting political stability of the country.
Therefore, the document describes increasing farmers' income as "not only a major economic issue, but also an important political issue," says the article.
Contradictions and problems in the development of agriculture and the countryside have to be resolved through reforms and innovations, it says.
China has 900 million rural people, so the government has to spare no means to help farmers increase income.
According to the article, the documents puts forward a series of practical measures for raising farmers' income, which include boosting grain production in major grain producing areas, increasing government allocations to these areas, stepping up the reform of the land acquisition system for greater grain production capacity, lowering agricultural tax rates, annulling tax levies on special farm produce except tobacco leafs, and continuing expanding petty credit loans and joint-guarantee loans to farmers.
(Xinhua News Agency February 8, 2004)