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China to Step up Efforts to Improve Urban and Rural Infrastructure

Chinese Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Jiang Weixin said on Thursday that the ministry would put boosting domestic demands on top of its agenda and ramp up efforts on urban infrastructure and public utilities construction.

"Local housing and urban-rural development agencies should also step up efforts on the construction projects for the low-rent and affordable apartments," Jiang said at an internal tele-conference held here.

China plans to invest 900 billion yuan (US$131.8 billion) for housing construction in the coming three years, which would benefit 7.47 million low-income households.

Jiang also urged local industry watchdogs to continue pushing forward the energy-saving work in the construction sector.

The ministry called on more efforts to better regulate the real estate market and to encourage and support reasonable housing consumption.

In a similar development, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Thursday the country would add 5.15 billion yuan to improve agricultural infrastructure projects and farmers' living standards, part of the country's 4 trillion yuan economy stimulus package unveiled on Sunday by the State Council, or Cabinet.

(Xinhua News Agency November 14, 2008)

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