.contact us |.about us
News > National News...
Premier firm on economic policy post SARS
( 2003-07-29 10:13) (chinadaily.com.cn)

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Monday recommitted the country to hold firm on the economic strategies adopted five years ago in a further sign that fears of a SARS induced economic crisis have abated.

Speaking at a high-level conference to discuss the post-SARS environment in China, Wen pledged his support for the key pillars of the country's economic strategy - proactive fiscal policy and a strong and stable monetary policy.

Such a reaffirmation is a slight step down from the initial reaction at the peak of the SARS in May, when policymakers rushed to promise economic- boosting measures amid fears the epidemic could lead to massive job losses and possibly even throw the economy into reverse.

However, displaying the renewed confidence in Beijing since gross domestic product data for the second quarter showed a modest slowdown in growth to 6.7% on year from a seven-year high of 9.9% in the first quarter, Wen asserted the need to hold steady to the economic strategies that have guided the government since 1998.

"In the second half China should continue to stimulate domestic demand, increase employment and rural incomes, expand exports and foreign investment and enhance fiscal and financial policies," Wen said Monday.

"China should maintain the strong and stable monetary and proactive fiscal policy and maintain the stability and continuity of economic policies."

These policies refer to increased state spending on major development projects to boost GDP growth and the maintenance of low inflation through a relatively tight grip on money supply and credit growth.

Wen's comments follow a similar assessment of the employment outlook by China's Vice-Premier Huang Ju.

Speaking at the weekend, Huang said he is confident the government will meet its target of creating 8 million new urban jobs this year, despite the SARS outbreak.

Public health measures to contain the spread of SARS hit the travel, hospitality and retail sectors hardest, and the government estimates up to 10 million rural migrant workers lost their jobs in cities as a result.

However, the government hasn't totally abandoned its commitments made during the height of the SARS scare.

Under previously announced measures, industries hardest hit by SARS will still qualify for tax breaks and concessionary lending rates at least until September.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome is suspected to have initially emerged in the southern province of Guangdong in late 2002.

By April, the potentially fatal disease had spread to Beijing, causing the government to implement drastic measures such as shuttering restaurants and isolating suspected cases in an attempt to halt the epidemic.

SARS killed 348 people on China's mainland and infected more than 5,300, the worst affected region in the world.

  Today's Top News   Top National News
+China's richest village: It takes brains and guts
( 2003-08-19)
+Relief for indigent college students
( 2003-08-19)
+Leaders meet Australian PM
( 2003-08-19)
+New security official promises open mind
( 2003-08-19)
+Government to rationalize auto sector
( 2003-08-19)
+Public bidding to purchase medical equipment
( 2003-08-19)
+Support urged for national organ donation
( 2003-08-19)
+Offenders get wider re-education
( 2003-08-19)
+Measures to ease emergencies
( 2003-08-19)
+Rodents hit northwest China
( 2003-08-19)
  Go to Another Section  
  Article Tools  
        .contact us |.about us
  Copyright By chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved