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Surplus Rural Laborers Told to Enter Service Trade
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Rural workers in Guangdong will be encouraged to move into secondary and tertiary industries under a new plan.


As part of moves from the 11th Five-Year Guidelines (2006-2010), provincial officials want up to 4.7 million people transferred into these new industries.


Officials say a surplus within the agricultural labor force has brought about these plans.


"If the target is fulfilled as expected, progress of urbanization of the rural areas in Guangdong will gain speed," said Huang Ridong, deputy director of the provincial rural work leading group office.


More than 15 million rural laborers have been working in non-agricultural industries in the past two decades in the province. The figure represents 50.4 percent of the present rural labor force in the province of Guangdong.


Huang said the province would offer "tailor-made training programs" to make the transfer of rural labor force possible.


"The attempt to transfer the surplus of the rural labor force is part of the strategies of the province to accelerate the construction of the countryside in the province," he said.


Huang said the province would also carry out free compulsory education among elementary and junior high school students in a bid to realize education opportunities for all school-age children by 2010.


And the province also plans to set up cooperative medical facilities to cover more than 85 percent of the rural population by 2010.


In his speech addressing the opening of this year's provincial people's congress earlier this year, Huang Huahua, governor of the province, said Guangdong would make US$3.82 billion available for infrastructural projects in rural areas during the 11th Five-Year Guidelines.


He said projects would also be initiated related to safe drinking water, roads, power grids, irrigation systems, quality testing systems for agricultural product quality, disease prevention and control and fishing ports.


(China Daily April 26, 2006)

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