Premier Li Keqiang urged for more efforts to establish a coordination mechanism for the poverty relief work by governments at all levels during the State Council executive meeting on Jan 18.
“County and prefecture level governments should take the initiative to ensure the success for implementation of the poverty reduction mechanism and must be responsible for the results,” noted Premier Li.
During this meeting, the Premier mentioned two events he came cross during his inspections at grassroots level.
The Premier started with the story of an extremely impoverished family. Among six family members living in a run-down house, the father and his son were mentally challenged and couldn’t work. The two granddaughters dropped out of school because their parents couldn’t afford the tuition fees.
Moved by their difficult conditions, the Premier promised to improve their lives. Half a year later, with help from the local government, the family moved to a new house with better living conditions.
Premier Li continued with another story from a discussion with villagers in Hunan province. A local woman hesitantly told the Premier her daughter just got an offer from the Engineering & Technical College of Chengdu University of Technology. But her husband’s treatment costs had used up all their savings and her daughter had to seek a job outside their hometown.
“We can never allow a single child from an impoverished family drop out of college because of poverty,” Premier Li said. After meeting that family he instructed local officials to solve the issue not only for this particular family but also the entire province.
The two stories implied that the government at all levels needs to establish a long-term coordination mechanism to guarantee people’s basic livelihood, and ensure the government at grassroots levels fully implement the central government’s decisions and arrangements.
In addition, Premier Li also emphasized financial departments at all levels should attach great importance to the poverty reduction work and increase related spending.
Ensuring the basic livelihood of poverty-affected people is the most outstanding “weak” link that we have to strengthen, said the Premier, government departments at all levels must shoulder the responsibility.