Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji emphasized Wednesday that special attention should be paid to providing help urban and rural residents in need, increasing farmers' income and transforming government functions.
Effective measures should be taken to help poverty-stricken rural population and ensure the basic living standards of both urban and rural residents.
The salaries of public servants and teachers must be paid in full and on time in all localities, the premier told a group of legislators from the provinces of Hunan and Shanxi.
After listening to the opinions of the legislators, Zhu said that to strengthen agriculture and increase farmers' income, the direct and most effective way at present is to quicken the pace of returning farmland to forests, which will help restructure the rural economy, adjust grain demand and supply and price, and improve the ecological environment.
The premier also called on government officials to improve their style of work and concentrate their efforts on creating a sound environment for economic development.
The legislators, or deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC), are here attending the annual session of the Ninth NPC which began Tuesday.
(People's Daily March 7, 2002)