Chongqing, Chengdu lead wealth distribution reform

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-06-11 06:40

CHENGDU: Chongqing Municipality and Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, have been selected to pilot a project which aims to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the wealth gap between rural and urban areas.

A document issued by the country's top economic planner urged the two cities to push forward comprehensive reforms in order to achieve coordinated and balanced development.

The reforms will target issues such as household registration, land management, social security and governance. The State Council, or the cabinet, has approved the reform, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said.

"The selection of the two pilot cities is necessary to explore a coordinated development model in China," said Yang Weimin, an NDRC official.

"The ultimate aim is to ensure that farmers and migrant workers enjoy the same rights, public services and living conditions as urban residents," Yang said.

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The two cities join Shenzhen in the south, Shanghai's Pudong New Area in the east and Tianjin's Binhai New Area in the north as pilot projects for reform.

China has seen rapid economic growth since it launched the reform and opening up policies in 1978.

But it has been accompanied by a widening income gap between rural and urban areas.

The per capita net income of farmers was 3,587 yuan ($471) last year, while the per capita disposable income of urban residents was 11,759 yuan ($1,515), about 2.3 times more.

In Chengdu, the per capita net income of farmers was 4,905 yuan ($645) last year, while urban residents earned 2.6 times more.

Chongqing has a population of 31 million, 80 percent of whom live in rural areas, while Chengdu has 11 million, including 6 million rural residents.


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