Materials for the Press Conference by the State Council Information Office
Progress in Nationwide Rural Poverty Reduction
(October 13, 2016)
The State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation
The Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and the State Council attach great importance to poverty reduction. In the Central Poverty Alleviation and Development Conference held at the end of November, 2015, General Secretary Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang delivered important speeches. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council issued Decisions on Fighting Poverty (hereafter referred to as Decisions), which made overall arrangements on poverty alleviation during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. Over the past year, the campaign against poverty was carried out comprehensively, with key tasks being fulfilled. Great synergy has been formed between the Party and the whole society in this endeavor.
I. Implement responsibility system at every level and form the poverty alleviation leadership mechanism
Following the central arrangements, poor region Party committees at all levels took povertyreduction as their toppriority. Principal Party and government leaders took charge of the work in the flesh and had truly born the responsibility on their shoulders, grabbed the work in their hands, and remembered the task and targets in their minds. They convened work meetings, in which officials of all levels signed liabilitystatements that define their respective responsibilities. In 21 provinces, principal officials of provincial Party committees and provincial governments took on dual-leadership in the provincial-level Leading Group Office on Poverty Alleviation and Development. These efforts strengthened institutional building and ensured effective actions of 5-level Party secretaries at provincial, municipal, county, township and village levels.
Institutional innovation was emphasized and poverty alleviation approach was improved with the top-level design. General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council released Plans for the Labor Divisionin Implementing the Decisions, Criteria for Evaluating the Performance of Provincial Party Committees and Governments in Poverty-reduction and Development, Opinions on Poverty Exit Mechanisms, Methods of Supervision and Inspections on Poverty-reduction Efforts, and Opinions on Supporting the Coordinated Use of Agricultural-related Budgets in Poor Counties.The State Council Poverty Alleviation Leading Group released Opinions on Establishing Feedback Mechanisms to Deal with Major Poverty-related Incidents. The Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee mapped out poverty-alleviation efforts at grassroots level and issued Notice on Securing the Stability of Principal Officials in Poor Counties during Poverty-reduction Campaign Period.
II. Organize the planning of the 13th Five-Year Plan on Poverty Alleviation and form supportive policy system
The 5th Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee passed Recommendations for the 13th Five-YearPlan for Economic and Social Development, in which it made rural povertyalleviation a minimum target for building a moderately prosperous society and put forward tasks and requirements for poverty eradication during the 13th Five-YearPlan period. The 13th Five-YearPlan dedicated an entire chapter to poverty alleviation, and the State Council made plans specifically for poverty eradication during the 13th Five-YearPlan period.
The Plan for the Labor Division in Implementing the Decisions assigned 101 tasks to 32 leading departments and 77 participating departments. The departments concerned has formulated 93 policy papers or implementation plans, covering industrial development, resettlement, labor export, transportation development, water conservancy, education, health care, financial services and optimization of land use to support poverty-eradication efforts.
Every provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government introduced and improved their 1+N poverty-alleviation measures, with ‘enhanced’, ‘updated’, and also ‘innovative’ versions, which provided pragmatic solutions to many chronic problems.
III. Mobilize resources and formulate the input mechanism of poverty reduction
The central and provincial government funds on poverty alleviation reached a historic high recordand exceeded 100 billion Yuan for the first time ever. The fund from the central budget increased to 66.7 billion Yuan, increased by 43.4% compared with last year; and the provincial budgets exceeded 40 billion Yuan, increased over 50% compared with last year.
Efforts are made to strengthen the endeavor on the financial services to lift people out of poverty. Micro-credit services for poverty reduction were set up to provide guarantee-and-collateral-free loans of up to 50,000 Yuan at base rate with the maximum period of three years. These services enjoyed interest subsidies from the poverty-alleviation fund and county-level risk compensation fund. Central Bank lending to financial institutions for poverty reduction was set up to benefit businesses directly engaged in poverty eradication and newtype of agricultural business owners. Specialized financial bonds were issued. The bonds started from funding resettlement and then moved on to supporting infrastructure development, photovoltaic industries, tourism and other poverty-reduction projects and new industries.
According to the planning of the central government, efforts are made to develop new sources of funding to support poverty reduction endeavors. By expanding public financial transfers, the government increases investment in infrastructure such as water, electricpower, road, gas and Internet access and in basic public services improvement.
The East-West partnership was strengthened. Altogether 9 provinces (and municipalities) and 9 big cities in the East offered pairing assistance to 10 Western provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities), and also support for the Tibet autonomous region, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and areas inhabited by Tibetans in four provinces(Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Gansu). Designated poverty alleviation measures are reinforced. 320 government organs at the central level helped 592 key poverty-strickencounties. The military and the armed police have set up 26,000focal points at local levels. The campaign of ‘10, 000 businesses helping 10,000 villages’ was launched to organize private businesses to support identified poor villages.
IV. Fully implement poverty alleviation strategies and establish working mechanisms
The strategy of ‘six targeted’ was carried out. To make sure that supported recipients are targeted, we mobilized round 2 million people nationwide to review the set poverty record. Altogether 9.29 million people were removed from the poverty list and another 8.07 million were added. The poverty identification process was improved and the data accuracy increased. To make sure the project arrangement and project capital distribution are targeted, together with the Supreme Court, we launched a five-year campaign to crack down and to prevent work-related crimes by people engaged in the poverty alleviation implementing process. Financial departments reformed fund allocation methods by delegating approval power down to the county-level authorities. To make sure that the dispatches of talents are targeted, altogether 128,000 working groups and 540,000 village-based cadres were dispatched to work in poor villages. The village leader dispatch management mechanisms were further improved. To makes sure that implementationmeasures are targeted, we adjusted the measures to local and household conditions and boost the income of poor households through diversified methods. To make sure that the outcomes of relief efforts are targeted, we reviewed the results of poverty-reduction work in 2015 and commissioned research institutes to conduct third-party evaluations.
The principle of “five-bys” was carried out. To realize industrial poverty alleviation, we supported poor regions’ efforts to develop local specialty industries based on their resources. Poverty reduction by developing the photovoltaic industry, e-commerce, tourism and other new business types proved effective. For poverty alleviation through relocating labors to other places, the localities enhanced labor export to increase the income of poor households. Pilot programs were carried out to train poor population and export them to certain industries with stabilized employment. To achieve poverty reduction by providing health care, 15 governmentdepartments have jointly issued guidelines and mobilized over 800 tertiary hospitals throughout China to offer pairing assistance to hospitals in poor counties. To size up the situation, we checked the facts and figures about illness-induced poverty and those re-trapped into poverty due to illness. For poverty alleviation through education, we improved basic facilities in those schools withweak compulsory education capacities and make sure that the program covering allpoor regions. Village teachers are supported to fulfill their duties. The nutrition improvement scheme for poor rural students had full coverage in poor regions. Compulsory education was improved, and most children from poor families now are able to receive free high school and vocational education. To achieve poverty alleviation by providing social safety network, we integrated the rural subsistence allowances system and productiondevelopment programs to make sure that all people under poverty receive support and social security assistance.