The primary task of China's 2008 economic work has been set "to prevent the economy from becoming overheated and to guard against a shift from structural price rises to evident inflation" a key economic meeting said on Wednesday.
The annual Central Economic Work Conference concluded that the key for next year's macro-economic control was to keep in check "economic gross value, price stabilization, structural adjustment and to promote balance".
The meeting said the country would rationalize fiscal expenditure to boost structural adjustments. Expenditures on social security, health care, education and housing would be increased significantly.
Credit growth would also be strictly checked to accommodate social demand and to promote a balance between foreign spending and earnings. New projects would go through rigorous examination.
The government would take "forceful measures" to curb price increases and "intensify" production of necessities, including grain, edible oil, meat and other products in short supply.
It would also continue to "improve the reserve system, improve price forecasts, keep a close watch on price movements, step up market supervision and offer allowances to low-income people".
The meeting stressed that China's industrialization and modernization process is now at a critical point. The incidence of many problems is, to a great extent, a reflection of the fundamental realities of the country and its current development phase.
In October, the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) pointed out that consumption should play a more important role in the country's economic growth to relieve its reliance on investment and export.
Primary and tertiary industries, along with secondary industries, should have a "concerted effect" on the country's economic development. China should also rely more on technological innovation, advances in human resource qualities and managerial levels to boost its economy, rather than mainly depending on consumption of material resources, according to the CPC Congress.
(Xinhua News Agency December 6, 2007)