Income doubling goal needs strategy

By Fang Yunyu Source:Global Times Published: 2012-12-2 23:35:04

While local governments are contemplating plans to double residential disposable income per capita, experts expressed their concerns Sunday over how to make those scenarios come true.

"The governments of Beijing, Helongjiang Province and other regions and municipalities are working on plans to double the per capita incomes of residents," Yang Yiyong, director of the Institute for Social Development under the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), was quoted as saying by East China's Shandong Province-based Jinan Daily Sunday.

Northwest China's Gansu Province announced on November 20 that the province is expected to accomplish the double disposable income goal by 2016, which means the annual growth rate of local disposable income per capita should remain at 15 percent.

The local disposable income per capita of residents in Gansu reached 14,989 yuan ($2,321 at that time) last year, up 13.6 percent from a year earlier.

And Heilongjiang Province is aiming for an income growth rate of 12 percent annually.

Yang noted that the local income doubling plans follow and even exceed the national economic growth target unveiled at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

"We should double China's 2010 GDP and per capita income for both urban and rural residents (by 2020)," Chinese president Hu Jintao said in a keynote speech at the congress last month.

However, at least two experts said they doubt whether local governments can achieve their target within such a short period of time against the backdrop of economic slowdown in the world's second largest economy.

"I don't think any local government can achieve a target of doubling residential disposable income per capita within five years," Wang Yiming, vice president of the NDRC's Macroeconomic Research Institute, told the Global Times Sunday.

Wang noted that per capita income figures in some areas are relatively small, which makes the growth easier, "but the schedule is too tight, especially during the current economic slowdown."

China's economic growth hit a three-year low at 7.4 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2012, according to the National Bureau of Statistics in October.

Chen Naixing, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times Sunday that in the current economic situation, the top priority should be to figure out how to boost the domestic economy.

"Detailed measures to stimulate economic growth should be planned first, and then we can talk about the pace," said Chen, noting that for now no solid policy has been announced on how to realize the income doubling target.

Both experts said they are hopeful about China's long-term economic growth, which can guarantee residential income growth in the long run.

"But reforms are urgently needed to clear the barriers for our country's economic growth," said Chen, noting as an example that urbanization, which can boost market demand, has encountered the hukou (household registration) system as an obstacle, as it blocks the migrant population from enjoying equal benefits in urban centers.

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