Wen: China ready to put forward new stimulus package

Updated: 2009-03-13 10:33
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BEIJING -- China has prepared plans to cope with even bigger difficulties amid the financial crisis and is ready to put forward new stimulus package at any time, said Premier Wen Jiabao here Friday.
Wen, while meeting press after the annual parliament session, said China is prepared for protracted difficult situations and has gathered sufficient "ammunition" to combat the crisis.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao answers questions during a press conference after the closing meeting of the Second Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, 2009. [Xinhua]
"We are ready to put forward new stimulus policies at any time," Wen said.
China rolled out a 4-trillion-yuan (585.5 billion U.S.dollars) two-year stimulus package last year, for which the central government has pledged 1.18 trillion yuan.
Wen said Friday the 1.18 trillion yuan from the central government was totally new investment.
The package included huge government investment, tax reform, industrial restructuring, scientific innovation, social welfare and promoting employment.
Apart from the 4-trillion-yuan package, China will cut tax by 600 billion yuan, raise the old-age pension for retired workers, hike the salaries of 12 million teachers, increase farmers' income and provide more subsidies for them.
The country also plans to spend 850 billion yuan on reforming the health care sector within three years.
"These investment is not included in the 4-trillion-yuan stimulus package," Wen said.
All investment plans in the massive stimulus package have been fully debated, and would be open for public supervision, he said.
He said the stimulus package included many new projects, such as the housing projects for low-income urban residents.
"We will provide housing to 7.5 million low-income families in three years, and provide better shelter for 2.4 million who still live in shantytowns," the premier said.
China's new bank loans increased sharply during the past months. The monthly new lending stood at 470 billion, 770 billion, 1.62 trillion and 1.07 trillion yuan respectively from November to February.
Wen said China faces difficulties in achieving the goal of 8 percent economic growth in 2009, but it is possible with "considerable efforts".