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State Council plans for agriculture, consumption and health care

Updated: Nov 11,2015 8:55 PM

A State Council executive meeting, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Nov 11, decided to issue packaged policies such as increasing grain production and farmers’ income, boosting consumption to expand domestic demand, and advance the combination of medical care and services for the elderly.

The government will renovate current grain depots and establish more storage facilities and the country will coordinate grain distribution nationwide by sending surplus grain from the north to the south. It will also speed up efforts to frame policies that encourage manufacturing enterprises to take part in grain purchase while cracking down on attempts to decrease purchase prices.

Besides strengthening management of grain stores, the government will also take measures to absorb current stock in a steady way.

Construction of irrigation projects and supplies of agricultural materials will be reinforced during the winter and spring to secure stable production. The country will also invest heavily in cultivating high-standard farmlands in key growing areas.

The government will also continue to reform the grain pricing and purchase systems while improving subsidiary policy corn and soybeans. Minimum purchase prices for wheat and rice are expected to take effect nationwide next year.

In addition, the meeting urged the restoration of land on South China’s steep hills for the purpose of forestation. Farmers are also encouraged to rotate the growth of corn and soybeans to improve cropping structure.

The meeting also decided to shore up consumption, one of the driving engines to upgrade industry and improve product quality.

The government will further reform to remove barriers that have held back consumption. For instance, market access for social and foreign capital should be expanded while new techniques and materials should be adopted to increase the supply of quality products. The meeting called for quicker urbanization to drive the consumption of housing and household electrical appliances.

The meeting also called for optimizing the environment for consumption. Enterprises are encouraged to pursue standardized production and improve product quality. The government will set up a nationwide platform of credibility information to combat fake products and protect intellectual property rights.

The country will beef up financial and fiscal support to develop credit consumption and promote the trial of consumer finance companies nationwide.

The meeting also decided to open more duty-free stores at ports of entry across the country and import more well-received consumer goods, as the shopping list of Chinese overseas travelers have expanded from luxury brands to daily products.

The State Council executive meeting also urged combining health care with services for the elderly as a response to population aging, which is also likely to bring enormous employment opportunities.

Medical institutions should open green passages for nursing agencies to book consultants’ appointments, whereas nursing agencies should be supported by hospitals to set up medical departments where services such as rehabilitation and hospice care are offered. Grassroots medical institutions are encouraged to sign contracts to serve the elderly in their local community.

The State Council encourages social capital to establish more institutions for medical care and nursing purposes. It also supports public hospitals with rich medical resources to set up similar departments.

Additionally, the government will enhance support such as land use and financing while expanding the purchase of basic health services and developing new insurances. The meeting also urged each provincial region to pick a trial area for the combination of health care and services for the elderly.