China to beef up weak links in social development
2005/03/06

    BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhuanet) -- China will spend 13.78 percent more on beefing up weak links in social development, including education, science and technology and health in 2005, according to a report on the central and local budgets.

    "A total of 129.71 billion yuan (15.63 billion US dollars) in the central budget has been earmarked for education, science and technology, health, culture, sports and radio, family planning, and courts and public security, procuratorial and judicial organs," says the report on the implementation of the central and local budgets for 2004 and on the draft central and local budgets for 2005, submitted Saturday to the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) for approval.

    Around 30 million primary and secondary school students from poor families in the central and western regions will receive freetextbooks in 2005, says the report. Among them, 14 million students from very poor areas are also exempt from paying miscellaneous education-related fees starting this spring semester,and the boarding students will receive living allowances.

    The report says the state will allocate 1 billion yuan for trials to develop a new system for rural cooperative medical care and health services, 704 million yuan more than one year earlier.

    A total of 4.2 billion yuan will be allocated for development of the public health care system and control of AIDS, snail fever,endemic diseases and other major diseases, a year-on-year increaseof 200 million yuan.

    Another 400 million yuan will be allocated for trials of the system for rewarding and supporting some rural families that observe the family planning policy, 200 million yuan more than last year, says the report.

    In addition, some anti-poverty funds from the central budget will be allocated to support the pilot project that encourages couples to "have fewer children and prosper faster" , it says.

    It says a total of 4.81 billion yuan in subsidies will be allocated from the central budget to finance courts and public security, procuratorial and judicial organs in poor areas, a rise of 1.68 billion yuan over last year.

    To meet the needs of exchanges and economic cooperation with other countries, 6.92 billion yuan from the central budget is earmarked for foreign aid, an increase of 850 million yuan year-on-year, says the report. Enditem

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