China to spend $158 bn in agriculture, rural development

December 29th, 2011 - 5:24 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Dec 29 (IANS) China’s spending on agriculture and rural development projects will exceed more than one trillion yuan (about $158 billion) in the current fiscal year, a minister said.

Zhang Ping, minister in-charge of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), it will be the first time to exceed one trillion yuan, following the government’s sharp increase of budgetary spending in the last two years on agriculture and rural projects.

Zhang was reporting to the standing committee of the National People Congress, China’s top legislature, according to Xinhua Wednesday.

The government has made a series of favourable policies, such as expanding grain subsidies, raising the minimum purchase prices of important crops, and upgrading irrigation facilities, Zhang said.

It has also spent on the compulsory education system in the rural areas, as well as a new rural cooperative healthcare system and a social security system.

China saw a bumper grain harvest this year, with the output rising to a record high of 571.21 million tonnes, a year-on-year increase of 4.5 percent.

China has reported robust grain harvest growth for eight consecutive years.

The favourable policies have also improved the livelihood of farmers, as the growth rate of rural residents’ cash incomes reached 13.6 percent after adjusting for inflation, outpacing that of urban residents, which stands at 5.8 percent, Zhang said.

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