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Industry-specific stimulus packages get ready for rollout
By Li Fei (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-12-18 07:53

China's top economic planning body is busy drafting detailed industry-boosting measures to shore up the country's nine key sectors affected by the economic downturn, as part of the government's latest efforts to arrest the sharp decline in industrial growth.

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The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is "racing against time" to devise industry-specific stimulus packages to help sectors such as steel, auto, shipbuilding and petrochemicals to cope with the economic slump caused by the global financial turmoil.

The policy, which is expected to be worked out as early as this month or the start of next year, will be announced in a "high-profile manner", 21st Century Business Herald reported, citing an unidentified source.

China's annual industrial output growth has tumbled from 16 percent in June to 5.4 percent in November, the lowest in 10 years, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.

The worse-than-expected sharp decline has worried policymakers and economists alike as industry accounts for more than half of the country's national economy.

The nine industries, which also include textiles and equipment machinery, account for more than one third of the country's GDP and are seen as crucial joints needed to reverse the industrial output growth fall.

NDRC has set up nine task forces to work out the policy packages for each sector, the newspaper said.

A national work conference on industry development was held in Beijing yesterday, attended by officials from provincial economic planning agencies.

"Extending a helping hand to the nine industries is also of great significance in solving the employment issue as they employed 36 million urban dwellers, or 30 percent of all urban employees," the Guangzhou-based business newspaper said quoting a source close to the matter.

NDRC minister Zhang Ping said over the weekend that the government is to unveil stimulus packages for key industrial sectors, without giving a timebtale for this.

"The too rapid and broad slide of industry has posed a threat to the stable economic development of China's economy," Zhang said.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology last week also announced a package of seven measures to prop up the nine industries. 

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