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Beijing's 5-year plan focuses on harmony
By Li Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-31 06:40

The Chinese capital will next month begin drafting its 11th Five-Year Plan that will set out the city's social and economic development up until 2010.

For the first time in a number of years, the plan will play down economic growth and strive to achieve harmonious development between urban and rural areas, according to the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission.

This means the city government will spend more money on such things as education, health and social security.

The commission, which is in charge of the drafting process, announced yesterday that preliminary investigations and research on 60 topics in the plan have been finished.

These topics cover a wide range of local social and economic development issues, including industrial development, communications network construction, environmental protection, heritage preservation and social security.

Initial research started in June last year when the commission for the first time invited nationwide academies and institutions to take part in the process.

Previously, this was a closed-door process.

More than 600 researchers from 57 institutions have been involved in the preliminary investigations, said the commission.

Beijing Economic and Social Development Research Institute, which has been looking into local economic reform, released its work report a couple of weeks ago.

The report says the city will try to limit price fluctuations to between -1 per cent and 4 per cent of current prices in the coming five years.

By 2010, the city expects to set up a regular price hearing system in order to let ordinary people have a say on price hikes, especially on products and services supplied by monopoly industries.

The city will create 2.5 million jobs and try to keep the unemployment rate under 3 per cent between 2006 and 2010, says the report.

The above targets, as well as those laid out for the other 59 topics, will be written into the general blueprint, said the commission.

The draft plan is expected to be worked out by June and discussed by experts between July and October.

Ordinary people will then be allowed to give their opinions before it is implemented by March next year, said the commission.

"Public participation will increase transparency when drawing up the plan, and will reduce the risk of making errors, especially on important issues relating to the city's development orientation," said Wang Jingshan, an official with the commission.

In another development, the city plans to start the construction of 25 expressways this year.

The northern part of the Sixth Ring Road and the second phase of the Beijing-Chengde Expressway are expected to be in operation by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, the Beijing-Shijia-zhuang, Beijing-Harbin, Beijing-Tianjin and the Badaling expressways will be repaired, according to the municipal communications authority.

(China Daily 03/31/2005 page3)

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