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GDP not the only benchmark, but still important

Updated: 2013-12-10 16:39
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - China has promised to cut the weight of GDP when assessing the work of local governments, but the country has not scrapped economic development, central authorities said Tuesday.

The Organization Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee issued a document on Monday promising to shift away from GDP-obsessed assessments of local governments as the nation attempts to bring its economy onto a more sustainable track.

The document orders local governments to abandon the development mode of "high investment and heavy pollution for fast growth rate" and set more evaluation criteria related to resources, the environment, scientific innovation, employment, income, health and social insurance.

"Not judging by GDP alone does not mean we no longer want GDP or economic growth, nor does it mean we will not assess development based on GDP criteria. We emphasize assessment based on scientific and comprehensive development," the Organization Department explained in a statement given to Xinhua on Tuesday.

The move will not affect local economic development, instead it will solve prominent problems in the development process and will ultimately benefit China's future development, according to the statement.

Local officials will shoulder a heavier burden and task of development because they must focus not only on the economic aggregate and growth rate, but also on the quality of development, growth mode and potential, the statement said.

Officials can now devote themselves to promoting economic restructuring, improving the well-being of the people, and laying a sound foundation for long-term local development, it said.

The statement warned against heavy government debts. It reiterated that local governments are prohibited from taking on huge loans to develop impractical "image" or "vanity" projects, and they will not be allowed to drive the economy through blind investment.