Economist Warns of Excessive Growth
Chinese economist Hu Angang suggested in one of his reports to be submitted to the central government that GDP index not be calculated for regions below the provincial level.
The value of the gross domestic product (GDP) or its growth rate should not be used to evaluate the performance of local governments below the provincial level, said Hu in an interview with Xinhua on Friday.
As a substitute, Hu stressed public services, social administration and market supervision be taken as new standards to evaluate their performance.
"Only by doing so, China may realize a real transformation of the functions of government in the coming five years," he said.
But provincial governments and the central government should still have their GDP statistics, Hu said in his report.
Hu, an expert on macroeconomics at China's prestigious Qinghua University in Beijing, made the suggestions in his propositional report to the central government, focusing on China's development strategy for the next five years.
According to Hu, China targets to double its per capita GDP in 2010 from that of 2000, which means an annual GDP growth rare of 7.2 percent is enough for the country to realize the goal.
But a large number of Chinese provincial governments have set their economic growth targets higher than 8 percent for the next five years, and lower governments have set their economic growth rates even higher.
This will surely result in excessive economic growth at the expense of the environment and resources, said Hu.
Hu urges local governments to develop their local economies in a rational and scientific way in the next five-year period (2006-2010).
In his report, the economist lists 30 obligatory indexes to evaluate the government's performance, including employment, energy consumption, control of environmental pollution, transfer of rural labor force, law and order situation, and coverage of social security.
"All these indexes reflect the basic obligations of the government in managing society and offering services to the public under the market economy," said Hu.
According to Hu, his report also includes other economic indexes that will serve to improve the government's economic forecasts and enhance its functions of macro-regulation and supervision.