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Tibet Sets Economic Growth Goal of 10% Plus This Year

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The government of China's Tibet Autonomous Region is bullish to garner a more-than-10-percent economic growth this year.

Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the regional government, disclosed the ambitious plan for the new year in his work report to the regional people's congress which opened Wednesday in Lhasa, the regional capital.

He also set forth other double-digit growth targets for 2009including: per capita net income for farmers and herders; budget revenue for local finance; investment in fixed assets; and retail sales of consumer commodities.

Efforts will be made to limit rising consumer prices to below the level of 2008, and to control the urban registered unemployment rate within 4.3 percent, said Qiangba Puncog.

The past year was an unusual one for Tibet's development, he said. The region withstood challenges such as the Lhasa riots, earthquakes, deadly winter weather and a slowdown of the economy.

According to Qiangba Puncog, the plateau region saw a 10.1 percent increase in gross domestic product (GDP) last year. That equals 39.2 billion yuan (about US$5.7 billion).

Per capita income for farmers and herders was 3,170 yuan, up 13.7 percent. Budget revenue for local finance was 2.49 billion yuan, an increase of 23.5 percent.

The region levied 2.9 billion yuan in taxes last year, up 24 percent. The balance of saving deposits and outstanding loans of financial institutions were 82.09 billion yuan and 22 billion yuan, respectively.

(Xinhua News Agency January 14, 2009)