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Mayor says housing price control will stay, pension to grow

SHANGHAI will intensify control on housing price this year, Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said today during a press conference after the annual session of local law makers' meeting ended.

As one of the efforts, the city will begin building public rental houses on group-owned farmland this year to mainly serve out-of-town wage-earners, Han said at the Expo Center this afternoon after the Shanghai People's Congress closed.

The city plans to renovate about 700,000 square meters of old buildings this year, while 25,000 to 30,000 families will move from their dilapidated homes to new houses, he said.

The mayor said the city has dismantled 75 million square meters of shabby or temporary houses for about 1.4 million families since 1991.

Meanwhile, the city will increase pension payment by 15 percents, or 300 yuan per month on average, for 3.1 million retired people this year. The city government will also increase subsidies for public service workers, including bus, taxi, Metro drivers, cleaners and gardeners.

Han said the city will expand its advanced meat-tracing system from pork to include beef and mutton to boost food safety.

"Shanghai aims to be safest place in China on food safety, still has long way to go," Han said.

The mayor also mentioned it is not right time to launch international board of Shanghai Stocks Exchange.

"We have no time table (for foreign firms to sell shares in Shanghai)," he said.

The international board was widely expected to be launched last year. But its official time table was never announced.

Shanghai Composite Index, the main benchmark of the local stock market, lost nearly 22 percent last year, and the Shenzhen Component Index tumbled more than 28 percent.


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