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     Senior lawmaker calls for more financial support for co-op
Add Time :2009-02-18      Hits:3754
Senior lawmaker calls for more financial support
 for rural cooperatives 2008-10-27 22:53:25
BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese lawmaker on Monday called on financial institutions to enhance support for the country's specialized rural cooperatives which still face difficulties.
The development of specialized rural cooperatives is still at a primary stage and there are still some problems and difficulties," Oyunqemag, vice-chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), said in her report to the fifth session of the top legislature's standing committee.
She said financial services were still weak in many parts of the countryside, which constrained the development of the cooperatives, and many farmers still knew little about the new law on rural cooperatives.
Lawmakers Monday listened to the report made after the NPC Standing Committee law enforcement inspection team conducted a nationwide scrutiny in August and September to see whether the law on Farmer Professional Cooperatives had been effectively implemented in its first year in operation.
The law, passed in October 2006, took effect on July 1 2007 and is "an important law guiding, supporting and standardizing the development of rural cooperatives," she said.
It was also aimed at playing a significant role in promoting rural development and enhancing the farmers' chance of having a stable source of income.
Property rights division in some cooperatives are not very clear and the system of financing and accounting are not complete", she said, adding some favorable policies for rural cooperatives had not been implemented yet because of the lack of a series of relevant regulations.
Despite all the shortcomings, statistics show by the end of June the number of registered special rural cooperatives had reached 58,072, with 771,850 members totally investing 43 billion yuan (6.27 billion U.S. dollars).
Oyunqemag said local governments had intensified training about and publicity of the law, and had thus boosted cooperation awareness among farmers.
The central budget has allocated 500 million yuan (73 million U.S. dollars) in special funds to support farmers' special cooperative organizations over the past two years, in addition to local supportive funds, official statistics show.
The annual income of rural cooperative members were generally 20 percent higher than non-cooperatives members, according to official sources.
Oyunqemag suggested improving rural financial services so as to alleviate capital shortage problems in running cooperatives.
The fifth session of the NPC Standing Committee opened its third plenary meeting Monday morning. Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee Wu Bangguo attended the meeting.
Copyright: International Committee for the Promotion of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives
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