Township industries key to rural stability
All local governments have been ordered to improve the overall quality of township enterprises to maintain a stable rural job market and promote the rural economy.
The order came in a circular from the State Council.
The document was issued by the Agriculture Ministry and promulgated by the State Council, an official of the State Commission for Restructuring the Economy said.
'Township industries have gained an increasingly dominant share in the country's economy. It is important to keep this sector stable to help stop surplus rural labour from flocking to cities,' the official said. He said cities were becoming inundated by laid-off workers from state enterprises.
The circular orders local governments not to restrain the growth of township enterprises. Their development funds should not be transferred to real estate projects or speculative activities.
'The circular calls on the governments to strengthen management of township enterprises and to halt their tax evasions and corruption activities,' the official said.
It also urges officials to stop these enterprises from engaging in counterfeit products that infringe intellectual property rights.
After the order was issued, Liaoning province published new policies to encourage better-educated young people to join township enterprises.
Young people who volunteered to join the enterprises after graduation would be accepted to key universities with lower marks, Xu Wencai, a Deputy Secretary of the province said. The students had to give a pledge to join the enterprises in writing before they could enter the universities, Mr Xu said.
According to a Xinhua (New China News Agency) report, more than 60 per cent of township enterprises in Shenyang, Liaoning, have become shareholding companies. Mr Xu said the province would introduce more measures to encourage talented people, especially those excelling in quality control, technology and management, to join township industries.
Township enterprises in Liaoning generated products worth 400 million yuan (HK$373.2 million) last year, 40 per cent of the province's total productivity. About five million people, half the province's rural labour force, were employed by these enterprises, Xinhua said.
Meanwhile, Vice-Premier Jiang Chunyun said development of township enterprises was a strategic choice for China to boost its prosperity.