Wu Bangguo (2nd L), chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), attends the third plenary meeting of the 24th session of the 11th NPC Standing Committee in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 28, 2011. Lu Yongxiang, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, presided over the meeting. (Xinhua/Fan Rujun)
BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- The National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, China's top legislature, heard Wednesday government reports on education reform, tourism industry and rural land contracts.
Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said the government will focus on raising people's incomes and improving their economic expectations in a bid to expand domestic demand, especially household consumption.
Zhang reported the progress of accelerating the shift of the economic growth mode to the legislative session attended by 144 members of the NPC Standing Committee, including Chairman Wu Bangguo.
Contributions of domestic consumption to economic growth remained limited. Although retail sales jumped by 15.5 percent and 18.3 percent in 2009 and 2010 respectively, compared to the previous years, the final consumption expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product was in decline, Zhang said.
He called for enhanced environmental protection and further energy saving and emissions cuts, saying that the eco-system remains fragile and energy consumption high despite the positive achievements were made in the 11th Five-Year Plan period from 2006 to 2010.
While commenting on tourism industry, Shao Qiwei, head of the National Tourism Administration, said that China has 23,315 travel agencies, among which 1,387 are able to operate outbound tours to overseas.
The number of star-rated hotels has reached 13,908, including 607 five-star hotels, bolstering the tourism infrastructure, according to the report.
Shao said that the country will focus on maintaining market order, promoting service quality and developing tourism resources in the future.
In a report on the implementation of the law on rural land contracts, Uyunqimg, vice chairperson of the NPC Standing Committee, said that the country is facing a stern challenge of farmland protection, as many construction projects are encroaching on arable land and exceeding the scale envisaged in the country's land-exploration plan.
The most outstanding problem is the illegal occupation of farmland in road and railway construction, Uyunqimg said.
Among some local governments, illegal land-grab conduct, such as exploration against relevant regulations and non-transparent distribution of compensation, has violated the rights of farmers, she said, urging greater transparency and supervision in this area.
A report submitted by the Ministry of Education stated it would continue working with the General Administration of Press and Publication to strengthen regulations on editing, printing and distributing reference books for students.
Education Minister Yuan Guiren asked education departments at all levels not to force students or schools to purchase reference books, and schools not to force students to buy those books.
It is common for Chinese students in primary and middle schools to do a large amount of after-class study and tests to get better exam scores, which has resulted in a booming market for reference books and test books.
The third plenary meeting of the 24th session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee is held in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 28, 2011. Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, attended the meeting on Wednesday, which was presided over by Lu Yongxiang, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC. (Xinhua/Fan Rujun)