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Legislators lash out at China's duplicated investment
Updated: 2004-03-09 14:31

Legislators lashed out at China's duplicated investment projects, saying the duplication of low-technology projects menaces the country's bid for sustainable economic development.

Zhu Xianfa, a deputy of east China's Anhui province to the National People's Congress (NPC), China's national legislature, said it took a year for Anhui to close down more than 100 small plants that manufacture cheap but shoddy steel bars, a type of building materials banned by local governments.

Ma Kai, minister in charge of the State Development and Reform Commission, acknowledged that the sectors of textiles, iron and steel, automobiles, non-ferrous metals, and construction materials have been troubled and bogged down by over-investment, the repetition of low-technology investment and irrational competitions.

Zhang Qicheng, an NPC deputy of north China's Hebei province, said the country's steel output exceeded 200 million tons in 2003 while a group of large iron and steel projects are still being planned or constructed.

By 2005, the country's iron and steel production capacity would total 330 million tons, 60 million tons more than the projected market demand, said the deputy.

The duplicated investment in the sectors of glass, cement, ceramics has been a long-standing problem despite government's clampdown, which has been detrimental to the healthy growth of these sectors, said the deputy.

There are a total of 117 auto plants in 27 provincial regions with approximately 2,000 plants producing auto parts, he said.

Excessive investment was also recorded in redundant airport projects in the Yangtze River Delta region including Shanghai. The delta is one of the country's fast-growing areas where a number of smaller airports are running in red.

The excessive expansion of those sectors have resulted in short supplies of energy in two thirds of the country's provincial regions in 2003.

China has issued warnings on overinvestment over the past few months, and moved to take tougher actions to tackle the issue, including stringent control of bank loans, and threat of penalties to government officials that approve those projects.

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