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Plan to create 3m new jobs

THE State Council, China's Cabinet, said yesterday it would endeavor to create 3 million new jobs in light industry in the coming three years by boosting domestic demand.

In February, the State Council unveiled initial plans to boost light industry in a bid to buoy the economy together with the 4-trillion-yuan (US$586 billion) stimulus package presented last November and nine other specific industry stimulus plans.

The General Office of the State Council presented the detailed light industry stimulus plans yesterday on its Website.
Under the plan, the central government will give financing support to small and medium-sized light industry companies with good development potential in a bid to create more jobs.

The value of the light industry's output stood at 2.62 trillion yuan last year, accounting for 8.7 percent of gross domestic product. Total exports of the industry reached US$309.2 billion, or 21.7 percent of the national total last year.

The industry employed about 35 million workers by the end of last year.

The light industry has felt the pinch from the global economic downturn and waning export demand.

Since February 1, an estimated 900 million Chinese rural residents were eligible for a rebate of 13 percent on the prices of home appliances, in a move by the government to boost domestic sales of these products.

These include color TV sets, refrigerators, freezers, mobile phones, washing machines, water heaters, motorcycles and air conditioners.

"China will beef up efforts to bolster innovation and industrial upgrading of the light industry, aiming to foster 10 light industry conglomerates whose annual sales will exceed 15 billion yuan," according to the plan.

In addition, the government wants firms to make existing facilities and production processes more environmentally friendly. The government also asks companies to improve the light industry's product mix.


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