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Premier Wen urges economic reforms
2012/02/12
 

BEIJING, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Premier Wen Jiabao has pledged to use further reforms to solve problems with China's economic structure, unfair income distribution and corruption.

The government should better handle issues related to people's livelihood and address public concerns on price levels, the affordability of housing, and incomes, Wen said.

The premier made the remarks in five separate meetings over the past week to solicit opinions from representatives of different sectors of society on the draft of a government work report to be delivered at the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, early next month.

PROPER JUDGEMENT, QUICK ACTIONS

After hearing entrepreneurs' reports on the country's industries ranging from energy to automobiles to finance, Wen said the government is paying close attention to the economic situation in January and the first quarter of this year.

"We have to make a proper judgement as early as possible when things happen and take quick action," Wen said, adding fine-tuning of macro policies should begin in the first quarter.

He said according to the macro prudent requirement, the government will maintain the continuity and flexibility of policies.

Zhang Yuliang, chairman of Shanghai-based developer Greenland Group, suggested the government stabilize macro control over the housing market with improved policies concerning affordable housing and commercial real estate.

Wen said the government will work unwaveringly to bring housing prices back to "reasonable levels" while promoting the long-term, stable and healthy development of the industry.

"As a country that is rapidly industrializing and urbanizing with 1.3 billion people, the demand in the housing market is solid in the long run," the premier said, adding that equal attention needs to be paid to the construction of affordable housing and commercial housing units.

He dispelled speculation of a loosening in government regulations designed to cool the property market, citing concerns over fairness and stability.

PRIVATE CAPITAL TO BE VITALIZED

In a meeting with the premier, leaders of democratic parties, people without party affiliation and representative of national industrial and commercial associations, advised on reforming the country's taxation, administrative management, income distribution systems and introducing reforms to monopoly industries.

Zhou Tienong, chairman of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang, said at the meeting that lagging reform of the country's monopoly industries has caused unfair competition in the market and impeded the drive to restructure the economy.

Describing reform on monopoly industries as "an important task," Wen said private capital will be encouraged into sectors of finance, energy, transport and social services.

He said the investment of private capital in such sectors would not only help ease overall economic difficulty, but accelerate the development of the sectors.

According to the premier, the government will draw up details relaxing the current investment restrictions for those industries in the first half of the year.

Ye Tan, a noted financial columnist, proposed at one of the meetings that the government introduce private funds to ease the current investment squeeze in railway construction.

Wen said investment in railway construction will mainly be covered by state capital and funds raised through treasury-guaranteed bonds issuance, but private capital will be introduced in an orderly way after careful planning.

To respond to economic difficulty this year, the government will further support the real economy, small and micro-sized enterprises in particular, he said.

The premier also listened to opinions on development of private colleges, agricultural modernization, schoolbus safety and social management.

 
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