China: 67 mn rural poor uplifted from poverty

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 16:39

Beijing: Claiming major success in poverty
alleviation efforts, China Wednesday said 67.34 million rural people, more than the population of France, were lifted from poverty in the last decade bringing down the percentage of
rural poverty from 10.2 to 2.8 per cent.

China`s poverty-stricken rural population fell from 94.22
million at the end of 2000 to 26.88 million at the end of
2010, an equivalent to lifting the entire population of France
out of poverty in the past decade, a white paper on white
paper on China`s poverty alleviation said today.

The current 26.88 million impoverished Chinese people are
equal to the entire population of Texas, the second most
populous province of the United States, it said.

In terms of percentage, the proportion of poor people in
China`s rural population decreased from 10.2 per cent in 2000
to 2.8 per cent in 2010.

The Chinese government defines those who earn less than
1,274 yuan (about USD 200) in income a year as "poor people"
after it raised the national poverty line for rural residents
from 865 yuan in 2000 to 1,274 yuan in 2010.

China has basically solved the problem of providing
adequate subsistence, food and clothing for its rural
residents, the 36-page white paper claimed.

According to official figures, China had 35.97 million rural people living below the poverty line in 2009 which amounted to 3.6 per cent.

But over all as many as 150 million Chinese who lived on
less than USD 1.25 a day were regarded as poor by the
internationally accepted guidelines of the World Bank and UN.
China which ranks second by GDP next to US, ranked
100th in terms of per capita GDP.

Last year, the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC)
approved a five year plan to raise incomes faster across the
country and keep them growing at the same pace as the economy
and productivity.

The 12th five year plan also aims to shift the growth
pattern of Chinese economy from that of the export driven one
to that of the one based on domestic consumption to reduce the
dependence on exports.

Government says that it plans to improve the wages at the
lower level to increase the income scale to bring about
significant reduction in the number of people living below the
poverty line by following a more balanced regional development
and urbanisation over the next five years.

According to the white paper by the end of 2010, the
illiteracy rate of young and middle-aged people had dropped to
seven per cent, 5.4 percentage points lower than in 2002.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 16:39

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