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February 19, 2013

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City has 23 key tasks for 2013

SHANGHAI yesterday prioritized 23 tasks for this year, ranging from establishing its stature as a global finance and shipping hub and creating a smarter and greener city to making life better and easier with public housing programs and more sports facilities.

The 23 tasks, each described in a sentence, were made available to the public on its official account.

Brief and compact, the agenda shows the direction of local government work this year in almost all walks of life, touching culture, health care, education, travel and the key economic tasks needed to build the city into a center for global trade.

Mayor Yang Xiong, who chaired the first government work conference yesterday, said: "Once the key tasks are completed, others will follow. Once the key work is off to a good start, the whole of the city's work will enjoy a good start."

Government departments focusing on different areas are expected to come up with more specific follow-ups to the 23 key tasks outlined yesterday.

Some issues have been on top of the local government's agenda for years, such as the significance of building the city into a global financial and shipping center. It is already a national strategy for the city to rise as a leading financial and shipping center by 2020 and detailed steps along that road are announced each year.

Yang said the city had to be prepared to tackle hurdles and uncertainties in carrying out the key tasks and said it should be bold in its innovation along the way. He also said a better government was a guarantee that the work would be accomplished.

During the annual session of the Shanghai People's Congress last month, Party secretary Han Zheng said the city would try to raise people's incomes at a rate quicker than the national average and those on low incomes would see salaries grow even faster.

With an average disposable income of 40,188 yuan (US$6,379) in 2012, the city's urban residents continued to lead other provinces and cities in income ranking on the Chinese mainland.

But that was offset by higher living costs, faster inflation and slower economic growth and the rise in incomes last year, 10.9 percent, was slower than the national average of 12.6 percent.

Yang has said Shanghai will create 500,000 jobs this year, give more support to start-ups and help graduates, migrant workers and urban residents find work.


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