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China to cut GDP obsession, improve evaluation system

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 22:57

Beijing: China will improve its evaluation system for measuring economic performance, putting greater emphasis on growth quality to cut "local obsession" with GDP data, a top economic planner said.

China will increase the weight of factors such as resource consumption, environmental cost, work safety and local debt in assessing local economic growth, and put more emphasis on employment, resident income, social security and people's health, Xu Shaoshi, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said during an interview.

"This is intended to guide local authorities to shift more attention to economic restructuring," he said, adding that the new mechanism will take regional differences into account.

China which posted decades of double-digit GDP growth till two years ago slipped to about seven percent in the last two years sparking concerns of a slowdown.

In past decades, the promotion of Chinese officials largely hinged on economic performance, which prompted local governments to boost growth by investing in capital and energy-intensive industries despite environmental costs.

As China tries to bring the economy onto a more sustainable track, the central authorities have been at pains to fix obsessions with GDP figures, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Earlier this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China will not assess the performance of officials simply based on their records of boosting the economy, and promised to adopt more comprehensive criteria.

First Published: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 22:57
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