Firms to be closed to make way for dam project
China will close some 448 enterprises in the next stage of industrial locations in the Three Gorges dam project, an official in charge of construction said Monday.
Lu Chun, deputy director of the project, said 482 more enterprises will be affected over the next three years, with 448 shut down and 34 others rebuilt after they are relocated.
The government will pay 680 million yuan (US$82 million)to laid-off workers with closed State-owned enterprises, Lu said.
By the end of last year,China had relocated 1,202 enterprises in the area, with about 680 closed due to bankruptcy.
Before the relocation, the area had redundant enterprises. "Such a situation could not meet the development demand," Lu said.
The relocations involve businesses with average fixed assets of only 3 million yuan (US$361,450) and less than 200 employees.
The Fuling Taiji Group of Chongqing is one case in point, with assets that snowballed to 5 billion yuan (US$605 million) from 10 million (US$1.2 million) before its relocation, Lu said.
After it relocated,enterprises have enjoyed growth on a larger scale because more investments were channeled to them as a result of the shut-down of redundant businesses.
Lu also said the introduction of high technology has helped some gear up for market demand.
Officials have showed concern over the reemployment of laid-off workers, with the government making efforts to provide subsidies to workers from closed enterprises while providing job opportunities by promoting local tourism, orange planting and aquaculture, Lu noted.
He said the government will step up supervision of the auction of assets of closed enterprises to avoid backroom deals.
The Three Gorges project is the largest water control project in China, as well as the largest compared to projects worldwide.