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March 1, 2010

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NDRC mulls unified GDP adding to stop abuse

CHINA'S top economic planning body has confirmed that the country is considering bringing provincial economies under a unified calculation in an effort to prevent local officials from cooking economic growth figures for political benefits.

Discord existed between the sum of provincial gross domestic product figures and the national GDP statistics calculated by the National Bureau of Statistics, the National Development and Reform Commission said in a report to the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress.

The current GDP calculation mechanism, which asked local governments to calculate their own GDP and report to the national bureau for verification, inevitably led to a distorted result, the NDRC said in the report.

The fundamental solution to solve the problem was to introduce the unified GDP calculation method, the NDRC said.

A source with of the NPC Standing Committee told Xinhua on Saturday that the report, concerning the NDRC's reply to the opinions of committee members on the implementation of the national economic and social development plan, was submitted to the 13th session of the standing committee, which ended last Friday.

The NDRC said in the report that some provincial governments inflated their GDP figures as the data were widely used to appraise local officials' performance.

Apart from that, different accounting references, calculating methods and standards adopted by the national and local statistics departments were also blamed for the distorted statistics, the NDRC said.

To close the gap between the national GDP figure and provincial GDP statistics, the NDRC said there was already a system of monthly sample investigation on the service industry including wholesale, retail trade, accommodation and catering. A reform to the calculation method of large-scale businesses and industries was also underway.


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