China to invest $140 bn to relocate rural poor to developed areas

31 October 2016

China will invest 946.3 billion yuan ($140 billion) by 2020 to relocate around 10 million of its poorest citizens living in remote, inland regions to more developed areas, the National Development and Reform Commision (NDRC) said today.

The mass relocation is part of a growth strategy that looks more inward as growth in the Chinese economy, which is heavily dependent on exports, declines from the double digits and high single digits.

Of the 10 million people planned to be relocated and lifted out of poverty by 2020, an estimated 2 million will be moved this year, the state council had said earlier.

The funds will be used mainly to create infrastructure like construction of homes, support facilities and other related basic public infrastructure, with the rest going to the restoration of vacated lands, the state planner said in a document.

Funds will come from the China Development Bank and Agricultural Development Bank of China, the two state-run banks, which provide 341.3 billion yuan in long-term loans and 50 billion yuan in construction bonds.

Local governments will provide 285.8 billion yuan and will also raise up to 100 billion yuan through bonds, while the central government in Beijing will allocate around 80 billion yuan.

Relocated villagers are expected to contribute 21.5 billion yuan.

China`s poor make up about 5 per cent of a population of 1.4 billion, living mostly in the countryside and earning less than 2,300 yuan a year, according to the government and state media.

More than 12 million people were moved in earlier relocation efforts as of the end of last year, the NDRC said.

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