3. Tap the potential of domestic demand to increase the space for development
We will work to achieve a moderate expansion of aggregate demand, adjust and reform the composition of demand, strive for better alignment between supply and demand and between investment and consumption, and work to achieve greater balance in the development of urban and rural areas and of different regions. This will create steady and long-term domestic demand to sustain economic development.
-- We will strengthen the foundational role of consumption in promoting economic growth.
To adapt to the trend toward high-end consumption, we will remove policy barriers, improve the consumer environment, and safeguard the rights and interests of consumers. We will support the growth of consumption in elderly care, health services, housekeeping services, educational and training services, and cultural and sports services. We will work to strengthen the growth of emerging areas of consumption such as information goods and services, smart homes, and personalized fashion. We will promote coordination, interaction, and fair competition between the online and the offline and encourage physical stores to transform themselves through innovation. We will help ensure the improvement of logistics networks and the healthy development of express delivery services. We will work to stimulate the second-hand car market, channel great effort into developing and promoting the use of new-energy vehicles, particularly electric vehicles, and move faster to build urban car parks and install charging facilities. We will carry out nationwide trials to set up consumer financing companies and encourage financial institutions to develop new consumer credit products. We will cut import tariffs on some consumer goods and increase the number of duty-free stores. We will ensure people are able to take their paid vacations, strengthen the development of tourist and transport facilities, scenic spots and tourist sites, and recreational vehicle parks, and see that the tourist market operates in line with regulations. With these efforts, we will usher in a new era of mass tourism.
-- We will see that effective investment plays a key role in maintaining stable growth and making structural adjustments.
The many weak areas in infrastructure and public services in China and the urgent need for industry upgrading leave vast scope for growth in effective investment. This year, we will launch a number of projects set forth in the 13th Five-Year Plan. More than 800 billion yuan will be invested in railway construction, and investment in road construction will reach 1.65 trillion yuan. A further 20 water conservancy projects will be carried out, and major projects will be launched to develop hydropower, nuclear power, ultra high-voltage power transmission, smart grids, pipelines for oil and gas transmission, and urban rail transit. Central government budgetary investment will be 500 billion yuan. We will deepen the reform of the investment and financing systems. Funds for specific projects will continue to be raised through market-based mechanisms. Local financing platforms will be required to transform themselves and shift toward market-based financing, the securitization of tangible assets such as infrastructure will be explored, and debt financing will be increased. We will improve the public-private partnership model, make good use of the 180 billion yuan in seed funds, and strictly honor contracts in accordance with the law, so as to bring the enthusiasm of private investors to the table.
-- We will advance new urbanization.
Urbanization is the path we need to take to develop a modern China. It is where we will find the greatest potential for domestic demand and the most powerful force for sustaining economic development. This year, we will take the following three major steps regarding urbanization.
First, we will move faster to see that urban residency is granted to more people with rural household registration living in urban areas.
We will deepen reform of the household registration system and relax restrictions on eligibility for urban residency. We will introduce policies for making both the transfer payments and the land designated for urban development granted to the government of a local jurisdiction conditional upon the number of people with rural household registration who are granted permanent urban residency in that jurisdiction. The full range of trials for developing new urbanization will be extended to more areas. Residence cards are important assets for their holders. We must move faster to ensure that permanent urban residents without urban residency are issued residence cards, thus enabling them to enjoy, as provided for by law, the right to access compulsory education, employment, medical care, and other basic public services. We will promote the development of small towns and small and medium-sized cities in the central and western regions to help more rural migrant workers find employment or start businesses in urban areas closer to home so that they do not have to choose between earning money and taking care of the families they leave behind.
Second, we will promote the construction of government-subsidized housing in urban areas and the healthy development of the real estate market.
This year, we will see to it that six million housing units are rebuilt in rundown urban areas and that more people displaced by the rebuilding of such areas receive monetary housing compensation rather than housing. Taking into consideration people's demand for buying homes or improving their housing situation, we will improve the tax and credit policies to support justified personal housing consumption and adopt different policies in different cities as appropriate to their local conditions, in order to cut housing inventory and promote stability in the real estate market. We will put in place a housing system which encourages both renting and purchasing and, over time, enable eligible non-registered urban residents to apply for public rental housing.
Third, we will redouble our efforts to improve urban planning, development, and management.
We will make urban planning more sound, forward-looking, authoritative, and transparent and encourage local governments to integrate their various types of urban plans into a single master plan. Construction will begin on at least 2,000 kilometers of utility tunnels. We will actively promote environmentally friendly buildings and construction materials, make a big push to develop steel understructures and prefabricated modules, accelerate work to ensure adherence to construction standards, and see that the level of technique in building and the quality of construction projects are improved. We will encourage institutional innovation in urban management, work hard to create smart cities,improve public transport networks, address traffic congestion and other prominent problems, and improve living environments so that people can enjoy a more secure, relaxing, and satisfying city life.
-- We will work to improve the layout of development across regions.
We will push ahead with the Belt and Road Initiative, carry out the development plan for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei integration initiative, and speed up the development of the Yangtze Economic Belt. We will draw up and implement the 13th five-year plan for the large-scale development of the western region, implement a new round of strategies for revitalizing the old industrial bases in the Northeast and other parts of the country, adopt the new ten-year plan for fuelling the rise of the central region, and support the eastern region as it leads the country in making breakthroughs in institutional innovation and coordinated land and maritime development. We will promote the economic transformation and upgrading of resource-dependent regions. We will support the development of old revolutionary base areas, areas with concentrations of ethnic minorities, border areas, and poor areas. We will work out and implement a national maritime strategy, safeguard national maritime rights and interests, protect marine ecosystems and habitats, and open up more space for the blue economy so as to strengthen China's maritime development.
4. Speed up efforts to develop modern agriculture and ensure sustained increases in rural incomes
We will, with as much care and attention as ever, continue focusing on our work related to agriculture, rural areas, and farmers. We will strengthen policy support for these areas, deepen rural reform, expand the channels through which farmers can find employment and increase their income, and work to ensure that the quality, performance, and competitiveness of agriculture improve.
-- We will speed up structural adjustment in agriculture.
The output of food crops has continued to rise in recent years. This has helped to keep prices stable and ensure people's wellbeing, but it has also resulted in a buildup of excess stockpiles and falling market prices. To resolve this problem, we will improve the pricing mechanisms for agricultural products, while guiding farmers in adjusting what and how much they grow and breed in response to market demand and in making appropriate reductions to the amount of cultivated land devoted to growing corn. Following the principle of letting the market determine prices and delinking subsidies from prices, we will reform in an active yet prudent way the system of corn purchase and storage to ensure reasonable returns for corn-growing farmers. We will adopt a full range of measures to reduce excess stockpiles of food, provide strong support for the processing of agricultural products to increase their value, develop the livestock industry, and extend the agricultural production chain. We will formulate a plan for a new round of initiatives to turn marginal farmland into forest or grassland, with the target for this year being more than one million hectares. There is much to be gained in this, and it must be carried out to full effect.
We will promote the development of suitably scaled-up agricultural operations in diversified forms; improve policy support for family farms, large and specialized agricultural family operations, farming cooperatives, and other emerging forms of agribusiness; and cultivate a new type of skilled farmer. We will encourage farmers, on a voluntary basis and in accordance with relevant laws, to transfer the land they contract to work on in return for compensation, enter into cooperation or association based on land as shares, or place their land under trusteeship. We will deepen the reform of the rural collective property rights system, state farms on reclaimed land, collective forest tenure, state forestry farms, farmland irrigation and water conservancy, and rural supply and marketing cooperatives.
-- The foundation of agriculture will be strengthened.
We will complete our work nationwide on designating permanent basic cropland and provide special protection for such cropland, promote the development of high-standard cropland, improve the subsoil of an additional ten million hectares of cropland, and increase the area of cropland covered by efficient water-saving irrigation by 1.33 million hectares. We will explore trials of crop rotation and fallow land. We will promote the innovation and application of agricultural science and technology. We will promote green, high-yield, and cost efficient food crop production and achieve zero growth in the use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides. In fiscal allocations, investment in agriculture will be ensured, a national agricultural credit guaranty system will be established, the agricultural insurance system and rural financial services will be improved, and more investment in agricultural modernization will be encouraged.
-- We will improve public services and facilities in rural areas.
We will step up the development of rural infrastructure. An additional 200,000 kilometers of rural roads will be built or upgraded. In towns, townships, and incorporated villages, where conditions allow, efforts should be stepped up to build paved roads and provide access to bus services. We will act promptly to launch a new round of efforts to upgrade rural power grids, and our goal is to ensure a stable and reliable supply of power to all rural areas and all electric pumpsets on rural flatlands within the next two years. We will build on past progress to make further advances in providing access to safe drinking water. We will encourage the introduction of e-commerce into rural areas. We will work hard to improve rural living environments, building an even more livable and beautiful countryside.
-- We will combat poverty.
This year, we will help more than ten million rural residents lift themselves out of poverty, including over two million poor residents who are to be relocated from inhospitable areas, and continue to rebuild the dilapidated housing of poor rural households. Central government funds for poverty alleviation efforts will be increased by 43.4%. In poor counties, various funds for rural development will be integrated. We will take targeted measures to alleviate and eliminate poverty in light of local conditions. We will channel significant energy into cultivating business operations with distinctive local features in support of employment and business development.We will construct infrastructure such as roads, water and power supply, and Internet access, and work to strengthen the ability of contiguous poor areas and persons in need to achieve development. National programs aimed at providing people with policy support and promoting people's wellbeing will be weighted toward poor areas. We will give stronger support to targeted poor areas, encourage the eastern region to help in the alleviation of poverty in the western region, and support nongovernmental participation in combatting poverty. Poverty reduction is a must, governments at all levels have made the pledge, and it must be accomplished both qualitatively and quantitatively within the timeframe set.