CHINA plans to hold the second plenary session of the National People's Congress (NPC) on March 10 to endorse a detailed government work plan for the first year of a bold economic blueprint passed by the ruling party. The annual plenum is also set to endorse a moderate national target of economic growth, possibly between nine and 10 per cent, as signs loom that inflationary pressure has been building up since last month. Despite reports that Prime Minister Li Peng might step down at the March plenum, sources point out that Mr Li has adopted a more active role in national affairs recently - a sign that he may not be ready to give up his leadership. Speculation was rife that Mr Li, who suffered a heart attack in April and had virtually taken a back seat in the State Council, might be replaced by Executive Vice-Premier Zhu Rongji. After returning to normal work in the State Council about two months ago, Mr Li delivered a key speech at the watershed Communist Party Central Committee third plenum in mid-November. A source said: ''Li Peng has clearly got the upper hand. But anything can happen in the next 90 days.'' But it is almost certain the 2,900-plus delegates will have to name a new head of the People's Bank of China to succeed Mr Zhu, who was asked to tackle the banking crisis last summer. A vice-governor of the bank, Dai Shanglong, is tipped to get the post. Quoting sources, the China News Service said the next NPC session would be held from March 10. The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's main body, would convene its second plenum on March 8. The two major conferences are scheduled to be held five days earlier than this year's plenums. The source said this was because of the need to ''have early discussions on problems facing the economy''. According to the China News Service report, the second NPC plenum will study and approve the Government Work Report, reports on the budget, social and economic development plans, and the work of the courts and procuratorate.