Guangdong sets goals for improving lives

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 January, 2011, 12:00am

Guangdong governor Huang Huahua has, for the first time, set out goals for improving the people's livelihood as the province works to boost residents' income and fight inflation.

Following provincial party secretary Wang Yang's call to bring more happiness to the people, Huang pledged to get 10 things done, and set out specific goals.

The 10 goals range from giving more subsidies to the poor to extending the roads connecting villages. The first task is expected to be fulfilled soon: the province will provide more than 2.75 million low-income people with a temporary price subsidy, amounting to a total of 380 million yuan (HK$449 million).

Huang also vowed to alleviate poverty among 1.1 million people, create 1.85 million new jobs, and invest more than 1.53 billion yuan to bring clean water to three million people living in the countryside.

It is the first time in at least a decade that Guangdong plans to make the people's income grow faster than the gross domestic product.

Huang said in his work report to the Guangdong People's Congress yesterday that the important economic and social targets for 2011 were 9 per cent GDP growth, with urban disposable incomes to rise by 10 per cent and rural incomes by about 10.5 per cent.

Delegates and experts on Guangdong's economic and social development welcomed the moves, saying the clearer targets would help improve administrative efficiency.

'If local officials can't complete such fixed targets by the end of the year, they will have a bad record in their evaluation,' a provincial official said.

The experts said it was time Guangdong implemented specific policies to help the poor, narrow the wealth gap, and share the province's fortune among the public.

Lu Daxiang, a delegate to the Guangdong committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the deputy president of Guangzhou-based Jinan University, said that, according to his research, urban disposable income growth in the province between 2006 and 2010 had been slower than in the other rich cities or provinces, including Beijing, Shanghai , Tianjin , and Zhejiang .

Yet at the same time, Guangdong had experienced the fastest growth in GDP and tax revenue, Lu said.