China shortens legislature session to save money

March 3rd, 2009 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 3 (DPA) The hard economic times are also hitting China’s legislature. This year’s session of the National People’s Congress is to be shortened to nine days instead of the typical two weeks to save money, sources informed of the decision said Tuesday.
About 3,000 members of the nominal parliament of China’s ruling Communist Party are to gather in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People beginning Thursday for a session that is to last through March 13.

“Money is to be saved,” a source told DPA while referring to the global economic downturn, which has hit China’s export industries hard.

The session of the nearly parallel-running People’s Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body, is also to be shortened to nine days.

At its opening session Tuesday, chairman Jia Qinglin told its 2,000 members that consistent and high economic growth should be China’s highest priority and the nation’s social stability should be secured.

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao was expected to set a goal of 8-percent economic growth for this year at the opening session of the National People’s Congress, which has never rejected a bill proposed by the Communist Party since its first sitting in September 1954.

Although foreign experts said China could at most expect 5- to 7-percent growth in 2009, Li Yining, an economist and member of the Political Consultative Conference, said 8 percent was achievable.

China’s economy would recover much faster from the global recession than other large economies, Li predicted.

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