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Central Govt to Pump US$5.5 Bln into Tibet

The central government will spend more than 38 billion yuan (US$5.5 billion) over the next few years to help boost economic development and social welfare in Tibet, China News Service reported on Monday.

Nyima Pandor, a vice-division chief with the information office of the Tibet regional government told China Daily Wednesday that a document had recently been drawn up by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) urging the central government as well as provincial authorities to provide aid and support to the region as it continues to recover from the damage caused by the March 14 riots.

The document mostly calls for increased financial support from the central budget, the promotion of tourism, and the restoration and repair of infrastructure damaged or destroyed in the unrest, Nyima Pandor said.

It also clearly states the need for improved care for the region’s most vulnerable groups and the strengthening of its capabilities to maintain social stability, she said.

Provincial authorities across the mainland are urged to support the measures, she said.

Although the full text of document is yet to be released, it clearly aims to "address the economic recession in the region caused by the March 14 riots", Nyima Pandor said.

The riots cost the Tibet autonomous region an estimated 280 million yuan, with the tourism sector and service industries being the hardest hit, the regional government said earlier.

In the first half of this year, the economic growth rate in Tibet was down 7.3 percentage points on the year before, the regional government reported.

The NDRC document is the latest in a series of measures introduced by central authorities to help Tibet get its economic and social development back on track.

Last year, the central government said that in the period to 2010, it will spend more than 100 billion yuan on 180 projects in the region.

Key infrastructure development schemes, and education, social security and environmental conservation programs will help boost both the economic and social growth of the region, and clearly demonstrate the central government's support.

(China Daily August 14, 2008)

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