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More Investment Urged for Clean Drinking Water in Rural Areas

The central government is planning to spend more on clean drinking water in rural areas, said Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday.

"With increasing government revenue in the past few years, the government should invest more in solving this problem," Wen said when meeting experts from counselors' Office of the State Council (COSC) and Central Research Institute of Culture and History.

Wang Bingchen, one of the experts from the COSC, raised the issue of water pollution in rural areas and suggested to raise subsidies for water cleaning projects.

Wen admitted the investment was still too little although the government planned to invest 40.3 billion yuan (US$5.36 billion) by 2010 to provide clean drinking water for 160 million rural residents.

The experts, mostly members from democratic parties and personages without party affiliation, also raised issues like energy efficiency, education of children from one-child families, civilian nuclear energy development and the protection of historic cities.

The Premier requested the experts offer more valuable proposals to help the government improve its work.

"As knowledgeable and skilled professionals, you shall play a greater part in the construction of the country," Wen said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2007)

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