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Planner: Grain areas up; fixed assets slow
By Huan Xin (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-08-26 05:59

China's top planner told the legislature yesterday that land used for grain production is on the rise, while over-heated investment in fixed assets has been reined in.

Planner: Grain areas up; fixed assets slow
Ma Kai, minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, speaks at the Bo'ao Forum for Asia 2005 on April 23. [newsphoto/file]
Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission Ma Kai said the national economy has maintained steady and rapid growth while all the social undertakings reported new headway.

But there are many factors holding back further increases in both grain output and farmers' income, he said.

Ma was reporting the implementation of this year's plan for national economic and social development to the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC), which is empowered to review and adjust the plan.

All but three provinces on the mainland have scrapped agriculture tax this year, a measure expected to alleviate the financial burden on farmers by at least 22 billion yuan (US$2.7 billion), Ma said.

In addition to stabilizing grain procurement prices, the government has decided to grant 13.2 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) in direct subsidies to grain growers 1.6 billion yuan (US$197 million) more than last year. "The policies have further unleashed the farmers' grain production potential," Ma said. "They are expected to plant grain in an area of 104 million hectares this year, 2.42 million hectares more than in 2004."

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