China Must Hasten It Speed of Economic Reforms, says Top Planning Agency

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China Must Hasten It Speed of Economic Reforms, says Top Planning AgencyChina must hasten the speed of its economic restructuring this year if it needs to tame further economic decline, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a key economic planning agency, on Saturday.

Some of the reforms are in oil and gas and the power industry, and reducing the level of bureaucracy in investment approvals. It also intends to speed up reforms on urbanization to ensure more people move to the cities and towns, and price reforms for resource items, reported Reuters.

“Not only for reform draft planning, but also to solve the risks and problems of the current economy, we all need to try boldly to quicken the reform,” said  NDRC.

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The statement comes at a time when Chinese economy has been posting inconsistent data that indicates structural economic shortfalls that have fuelled calls for the Communist Party to roll out policies to boost growth.

Last November, Beijing adopted the reform blueprint that will guide it for the next decade. However, it has implemented the policies laid out gradually. Recently, it reaffirmed that it will hasten efforts to liberalize exchange rates and interest rates and speed up reforms on consumption and property taxes

In a separate report, the average price of new homes in China fell to almost a year low in April. The prices grew 6.7 percent in 70 main cities last month from a year ago, down from March’s 7.7 percent growth, reported Reuters.

The prices rose 0.1 percent on a monthly basis in April from a month earlier, down from March’s 0.2 percent growth. This poses a key challenge for Beijing, which must ensure the slowdown won’t negatively affect the banking system. The sluggish property market weighed on the yearly economic growth to 7.4 percent in the first three months of the year, the lowest in 18 months. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com