In­vest­ment helps 10 mil­lion peo­ple rise from poverty

Gov­ern­ment spends 100 bil­lion yuan this year, reg­is­ters poor house­holds for liv­ing al­lowances

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By CHEN MENGWEI chen­meng­wei @chi­

China has lifted more than 10 mil­lion ru­ral res­i­dents out of poverty this year with a record-break­ing in­vest­ment of 100 bil­lion yuan ($14.4 bil­lion) in gov­ern­ment funds, and it plans to pull an­other 10 mil­lion peo­ple out of poverty next year.

That goal was an­nounced on Tues­day by Liu Yongfu, di­rec­tor of the State Coun­cil Lead­ing Group Of­fice of Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment, at the of­fice’s an­nual na­tional meet­ing.

By the end of 2015, China still had more than 55 mil­lion peo­ple liv­ing be­low the na­tional poverty line of 2,800 yuan per per­son per year, or in­come of less than 8 yuan a day, ac­cord­ing to the of­fice.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said dur­ing the G20 Lead­ers Sum­mit in Hangzhou in Septem­ber that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment will lift the en­tire na­tion out of poverty by 2020.

This year, the cen­tral gov­ern­ment al­lo­cated 66.7 bil­lion yuan to tackle poverty, a 43.4 per­cent in­crease com­pared with last year. Lo­cal govern­ments to­gether des­ig­nated more than 40 bil­lion yuan for the same pur­pose, up more than 50 per­cent com­pared with 2015, Liu said.

Un­like the pre­vi­ous prac­tice of most spe­cial funds be­ing spent by higher-level govern­ments, these funds have fil­tered down to the grass­roots level. More than 95 per­cent of fund­ing is di­rectly ac­ces­si­ble by county govern­ments, up from last year’s 75 per­cent, Liu said.

The gov­ern­ment has or­ga­nized 2 mil­lion peo­ple to check the sta­tus of ev­ery poor house­hold reg­is­tered na­tion­wide to make sure that each per­son in need can get help — a key idea be­hind the on­go­ing anti-poverty cam­paign. As a re­sult, they re­moved 9.29 mil­lion names of those who are not re­ally poor, while adding the names of 8.07 mil­lion oth­ers who were pre­vi­ously not reg­is­tered, ac­cord­ing to the of­fice.

By 2015, there were 1,521 coun­ties where vil­lagers were un­able to qual­ify for a ba­sic liv­ing al­lowance even if they earned less than 2,800 yuan per year.

This year, that num­ber dropped to 887, af­ter the cen­tral gov­ern­ment is­sued a cir­cu­lar re­quir­ing that ev­ery ru­ral res­i­dent un­der the na­tional poverty line have ac­cess to a ba­sic liv­ing al­lowance, Liu said.

Ear­lier this year, 51 cen­tral gov­ern­ment-owned en­ter­prises jointly es­tab­lished an in­dus­trial in­vest­ment fund of 12.2 bil­lion yuan to boost busi­ness in poor re­gions. That fund is ex­pected to ex­pand to 100 bil­lion yuan in the near fu­ture.

Mean­while, a to­tal of 21,992 pri­vate com­pa­nies have pledged to help 21,251 reg­is­tered poor vil­lages. Among them, prop­erty de­vel­op­ers made sig­nif­i­cant com­mit­ments. The Ever­grande Group has set up a fund of 1 bil­lion yuan to help Guizhou prov­ince’s Dafang county, while Wanda Group plans to in­vest an­other 1.4 bil­lion yuan in the prov­ince’s Danzhai county, ac­cord­ing to the of­fice.

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