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Premier Li urges improvement in shantytown renovation

Updated: Oct 9,2018 8:31 PM

Shantytown renovation is an important project concerning people’s lives and the country’s development, Premier Li Keqiang said at the State Council executive meeting on Oct 8.

More emphasis will be put on the houses’ function for living, he added.

It was decided at the meeting to promote shantytown renovation and improve living conditions for people struggling with housing difficulties.

According to statistics, the Chinese government has helped more than 100 million people move out of shantytowns in recent years, with more than 12 million farmers becoming city residents.

In recent years, work has started on the reconstruction of 3.05 million housing units in shantytowns in State-owned mining zones, 1.66 million in forest zones, and 2.38 million in reclamation areas, which facilitated sustainable development in those areas.

Also, more than 7 trillion yuan ($1.01 trillion) in investment has been put into shantytown renovation projects since 2013, giving a boost to industries in building materials, decorations and home appliances. A total of more than 15 trillion yuan were put into shantytown renovation projects and related industries.

From January-September this year, work started on the reconstruction of 5.34 million housing units in shantytowns, surpassing 92 percent of the yearly target.

Premier Li stressed implementation of supporting policies and orderly issuance of local governments’ special bonds for shantytown renovation.

Also, financial policies to support new shantytown renovation projects should be rolled out at an earlier time and any irregular and illegal behavior will be prohibited.

The scope and standards for shantytown renovation projects should be made clear, he said.

The next phase will be people-centered and more emphasis will be put on houses’ function for living, according to the meeting.

Local governments were urged to accelerate shantytown renovation according to the new three-year plan put forward in the Report on the Work of the Government 2018, and strengthen related infrastructure construction and quality supervision, to complete the annual target on schedule.

The meeting stressed that more importance should be put on renovation of shantytowns in old city districts, State-owned mining zones, forest zones and reclamation areas.

Also, monetized resettlement in shantytown renovation should be adjusted and canceled in some cities and counties with the heavy pressure of rising housing prices.

Those at the meeting called for local governments to make a reasonable shantytown renovation plan for 2019 with a strict evaluation of fiscal budgets.

“Shantytown reconstruction is an important livelihood project to pay off what the government owed to the people throughout history, as well as a way to push ahead new-type urbanization,” Premier Li said. Efforts should be made to improve the living conditions of people with difficulties in housing in an earnest way, he added.