China approves new economic plan
16 March 2016, Nirapad News: China’s parliament has ended its annual session by approving a new five-year economic plan, as Premier Li Keqiang says the country will push ahead with economic reforms.
The plan aims to increase China’s economy, the world’s second-largest, by around 6.5 to 7% a year by 2020, reports the BBC.
Measures include cutting high debt, streamlining state-owned enterprises, and reforming financial markets.
China has been facing a period of slower growth and market volatility.
The plan, laid out by Communist Party leaders, received unanimous approval from the rubber-stamp National People’s Congress (NPC).
At his annual press conference later, Li stressed the importance of reforms to economic vitality and added it was ‘impossible’ for him to side with views that China would not meet economic targets.
He acknowledged there would be job losses as reforms were made to state-owned enterprises, particularly in the steel and coal industries, but said there would be no mass redundancies.
In February, the central government launched a $15.3bn fund aimed at relocating workers who lost their jobs as part of China’s supply-side reforms.
According to reports, China may make up to six million state workers redundant over the next few years as part of its shift away from a manufacturing to services-based economy.
Li said the economy would ‘not suffer a hard landing, we have full confidence in the bright future of the Chinese economy’.