China Poverty line bumped up more than 90%

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  1. Galaxy

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    Aug 27, 2011
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    China Poverty line bumped up more than 90%

    Global Times | November 30, 2011 | By Mo Ting

    China's central government has decided to raise the poverty line for the nation's rural population. The decision was made at a national conference on poverty alleviation held Tuesday.

    The threshold will be raised to 2,300 yuan ($362) per year for the net income of rural residents, up 92 percent from the level set in 2009. The increase will allow more people to apply for poverty relief from the government.

    Wang Sangui, professor of the School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times the increase is considerable.

    "The threshold has been raised to almost double the previous rate, exceeding the rate of inflation, which actually lowers the quality of life."

    The 2,300-yuan poverty line is the lowest standard nationwide, Wang said. Local governments will define the local poverty line, which might be higher than the national standard due to regional disparities.

    Fan Xiaojian, head of the Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development (LGOPAD) under the State Council, said by 2020, the government hopes to realize its goal of providing adequate food and clothing for impoverished people while ensuring access to compulsory education, basic medical services and housing, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

    Fan also said one of the goals of the LGOPAD is to increase the annual net income of rural people at a rate higher than urban people, in order to fill the income disparity gap.

    "The main challenge in the process of poverty alleviation is inequality in income distribution," said Wang. "That means rural poor people may not benefit from nationwide economic growth."

    Wang told the Global Times authorities need to pinpoint who qualifies as impoverished and figure out what needs they have and how to lift them out of poverty.

    He said poverty alleviation and rural development should focus on not only economic growth, but also infrastructure as well as education and medical services.

    Data released from the State Council on Monday showed the national investment in poverty alleviation has gone up from 22.27 billion yuan last year to an estimated 27 billion yuan this year, the largest sum to date.

    Poverty line bumped up more than 90%

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