August 13, 2006
China will raise electric power rates to compensate 22 million people who have been relocated to make way for dams and reservoirs. They will be paid 600 yuan (US$75) a year for 20 years in the hope of improving their living conditions, Xinhua reports.
The Chinese government on Sunday said it will raise electric power rates to compensate 22 million people who have been relocated to make way for dams and reservoirs. They will be paid 600 yuan (75 U.S. dollars) a year for 20 years in the hope of improving their living conditions. The State Council’s Subsidy Policies for People Who Were Relocated to Make Way for Dams and Reservoirs was released to public in full text on Sunday. China has built more than 3,000 large and medium-sized reservoirs since 1949 for flood control, electricity generation, irrigation and water supply. A leading official with the State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC) said Sunday that people who were relocated “made a great contribution to the country’s economy by sacrificing their own interests.
However, a great number of them still live in poverty, which has become a bottleneck for local economic development and social stability.” The central government will spend more than 13 billion yuan every year subsidizing those who were required to move. The money will be raised by increasing power bills by 0.62 cents per kilowatt hour, said the official. The official said the subsidy must be distributed to every immigrant in a timely and transparent way. Personal accounts will be established for all people who were relocated and the subsidy will be transferred to their personal accounts directly to avoid local governments’ withholding. The central government will also raise funds through other channels to improve infrastructure facilities, such as water and electricity supply systems, transportation and telecommunication facilities, for the relocated people, said the document. The government will offer technical and occupational training programs to immigrants to help them seek employment opportunities in cities. “Through subsidizing the immigrants, the government could ensures all the citizens to share the country’s reform fruits and realize the sustainable economic and social development in the reservoir areas,” said the SDRC official. He said the central government’s decision of subsidizing the reservoir immigrants embodies the government’s adherence to the scientific view of development, which features putting people first and maintaining a comprehensive, harmonious and sustainable development. Helping reservoir immigrants lead a well-off life is of vital importance to social stability, as several riots occurred over recent years among the reservoir immigrants for pursuing better life.
Categories: Three Gorges Probe
Leave a Reply