Beijing will continue its 'appropriately tight' monetary policies and speed up reforms of state-owned enterprises this year, according to a senior official. Chen Jinhua , Minister of the State Planning Commission, will tell tomorrow's National People's Congress he aims for growth of eight per cent this year, 1.7 percentage points below last year and inflation of six per cent - the same as last year. He said 1996 was a successful year, accomplishing both a sharp cut in inflation, an 'appropriately fast growth' and record grain harvest. Despite these achievements, Mr Chen admitted that China's economy still faced problems such as duplicated and unprofitable investments, a weak agricultural base, a high budget deficit and soaring bank bad debts. To remedy these weak points, Mr Chen said Beijing would concentrate on seven areas in 1997. Top of the agenda is agriculture. Mr Chen said China hoped to maintain both the overall grain harvest and acreage at the 1996 level while boosting rice and wheat production. Beijing would also increase its aid to backward rural areas to 15.3 billion yuan (HK$14.2 billion) from 10.8 billion last year. Beijing would also expand its reform of state-owned enterprises. Mr Chen predicted a modest 11.5 per cent rise in industrial output value. Beijing predicted a sharp slow down in fixed asset investment growth with the growth rate dropping to 6.9 per cent from 18.2 per cent last year. To stabilise urban consumer prices, Mr Chen called on local governments to be responsible for supplying sufficient foodstuff, supervising price rises and preventing profiteering. He said Beijing would increase export credits and urged exporters to diversify their markets. Beijing hopes to create 5.5 million new urban jobs this year, with an emphasis on service industries. It hopes to maintain an urban jobless rate of three per cent.