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Full Text: China's economic and social development plan
Updated: 2007-03-19 09:06

2. Steady progress was made in building a new socialist countryside.

Policies to favor farmers were improved. The agricultural tax and tax on agricultural specialties were abolished across the country. This was in addition to other previously rescinded agriculture-related taxes and charges, including the butchery tax and animal husbandry tax, thereby relieving the financial burden on farmers by about 125 billion yuan each year. We provided grain farmers with direct subsidies, subsidies for growing superior varieties of crops and purchasing machinery and tools as well as general direct subsidies for agricultural supplies. Total subsidies given out last year exceeded 30 billion yuan. We also increased transfer payments to major grain-producing counties and those with limited financial resources, granting a total of 23.5 billion yuan in rewards and subsidies. The imposition of a minimum grain purchase price was extended from rice to include wheat. Compensation for the expropriation of farmland for large and medium-sized water conservancy and hydroelectric projects was also substantially increased.

Investment to support agriculture continued to increase. A total of 339.7 billion yuan from the central government (excluding12 billion yuan of general direct subsidies to grain growers deriving from special surcharges on oil sales) was spent on agriculture, rural areas and farmers, a year-on-year increase of 42.2 billion yuan. Working and living conditions in rural areas were improved. A total of 6 billion yuan from the central government, triple the amount for the previous year, along with 6.9 billion yuan from local governments was spent on safe drinking water projects in the countryside, benefiting 28.97 million rural residents. The central government also invested 2.5 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 150%, and local governments invested 1.56 billion yuan in building rural methane facilities to serve an additional 4.5 million families. In addition, 19 billion yuan from the central government and 24 billion yuan from local governments were invested in the rural road upgrade project, rebuilding and extending 120,000 kilometers of asphalt or cement roads to connect more townships and villages. We encouraged retailers to open stores in more townships and villages, thus setting up more than 100,000 stores in the countryside.

Agricultural structure was further improved. Grain acreage rose by 1.1 million hectares from the previous year to reach 105.38 million hectares. Once again, we had a rich grain harvest with total output amounting to 497.46 million tons, 13.44 million tons more than the year before. High-quality special wheat acreage accounted for 55.2% of China's total wheat acreage and the acreage of high-quality rice accounted for 69.1% of total rice acreage, up6 percentage points and 4 percentage points year-on-year respectively. Cotton and sugar output increased by 17.8% and 16.2%respectively, and the output of meat, milk and aquatic products increased by 4.6%, 18% and 2.8% respectively.