Zhu bid to boost farmers' incentives
VICE-PREMIER Zhu Rongji has underlined the need to boost incentives for farmers by stabilising the price of raw materials and improving the distribution system.
Mr Zhu has just completed a week-long trip to the northern provinces of Jilin and Liaoning where he visited farmers and markets.
''Grain prices are the core of the party's agrarian policy,'' Xinhua (the New China News Agency) last night quoted Mr Zhu as saying.
''It is a major economic lever for arousing the farmers' enthusiasm.'' Mr Zhu warned that while overall supply was sufficient, the prices of eggs and pork had risen in some places and this trend went against market mechanisms.
He said authorities had to keep better checks on supply. Inspection and monitoring work had to be strengthened to curb price rises.
Mr Zhu also pointed out an imbalance of supply and demand had led to soaring costs for chemical fertilisers and other raw materials over the past few months.
He indicated that the relevant authorities had failed in the job of clamping down on profiteering.
To stabilise prices and consolidate reform in the purchasing and selling of grain, Mr Zhu said that supply and demand should be matched.
To improve the circulation of agricultural producer goods, Mr Zhu pointed out that the Government should play a leading role as distributor in order to keep prices under control.
During the trip, Mr Zhu, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, also visited factories and state enterprises, holding conferences with their leaders and pointing out that politics should be kept separate from enterprise.