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Tibet Farmers, Herdsmen's Income Sees Double Digital Growth

The net income of Tibetan farmers and herdsmen has experienced double-digital growth in each of the past five years, said a former Tibetan official on Wednesday.

"The per capita net income of farmers and herdsmen in Tibet reached 2,788 yuan (US$391) last year," said Ragdi, former vice-chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, at a meeting of the Counseling Committee on Development of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

"Their conditions in housing, medical care, education, drinking water and communications have all seen considerable improvement," he said.

The ethnic Tibetan, currently honorary chairman of the counseling committee, an agency comprised of experts and officials who offer advice on the region's development, said Tibet has accomplished significant achievements in reform, opening up and modernization construction in recent years with help from across the nation.

The region's economy has been keeping an annual growth rate of 12 percent or more over the past seven years with its total volume surpassing 30 billion yuan (US$4.2 billion), Ragdi said.

The region has "entered a golden period of rapid development" and is also "in a best period of development and stability in history".

Development is the number one task for Tibet and stability is the number one responsibility, said Ragdi.

"When it comes to decision counseling, we should not only eye economic and social development, but also put the social stability in the first place from a political point of view," he stressed.

(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2008)

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