China to move 100 million farmers to cities in massive urbanisation plan

Ghost cities in China

Beijing, Dec 25: In a bid to embark upon a massive urbanisation drive, China is set to turn 100 million farmers into registered urban residents.

According to reports, the plan to urbanise the farmers will be implemented from next year.

Head of National Development and Reform Commission, Xu Shaoshi, did not specify when the plan will be completed, state-run Xinhua news agency quoting him said.

China’s housing market took a downturn in 2014 due to a weak demand and a supply glut. The cooling has continued into 2015, with sales and prices falling, and investments slowing.

Several media reports have highlighted the emergence of ghost cities, which are urban clusters with well-built infrastructure but no residents.

As China became world’s second-largest economy, it achieved more than 55 per cent urbanisation in the last three decades, shedding its agrarian roots.

Over 300 million people migrated from rural areas to newly-built cities to work during the period.

Chinese planners consider urbanisation an essential tool to address rural poverty. Chinese officials say urbanisation has helped alleviate poverty of more than 600 million people in the last three decades, still leaving out about 70 million below poverty line in far-off places.

According to a government plan published last year, China aims to raise the number of registered urban residents to around 45 per cent by 2020.

China will make more effort to improve city clusters in the eastern region, and foster new clusters and key regional cities in central and western regions, said a statement issued recently after the
Central Urban Work Conference.

(With PTI Inputs)

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