"三农"问题 Issues of agriculture, farmer and rural area
A short term for the issues related with agriculture, farmer and rural area. Formally raised by researchers on rural issues in the late 1980s, the issues were regarded as of high importance for the country's economic and social development.
After fixing numerous policies to nurture agriculture, improve the life of farmers and speed the development of rural areas, the central government pointed out during the 2004 Central Economic Work Conference that these issues were "the most important of all the important works for the Party". And more policies and measures are put in place in this regard.
两限房 House of "Two Limits"
Houses with lower prices and limited areas specially for families with low or middle income. In May 2006, the State Council required local governments to boost the supply of houses at low and middle prices to ensure the families of modest income could afford them. Specific guidelines about the qualifications and the details of the property transfer are set by local governments.
Houses of "two limits" are usually sold at a price 30 percent lower than the market price. In Beijing, families with an annul income under 88,000 yuan and a per capita dwelling space under 15 square meters are eligible to apply for houses of "two limits".
农村税费改革 Rural Tax and Fee Reform
A reform in rural areas to ease the financial burden on farmers.
In 2000, a pilot program was started in Anhui province under which the agricultural tax rate was cut, other agriculture-related taxes and fees were either written off or merged. The central government subsidized local governments through transfer payments to balance their reduced revenue.
The pilot program was soon extended to other regions and the agricultural tax was totally done away with in 2006 throughout the country, marking the completion of this reform. Now farmers do not pay any tax except those growing tobacco.
"三沿"地区开放 Opening-up of seashore, river shore and border areas
A policy to open the areas along the coast, along the major inland rivers and those on the country's borderline to foreign investors and stimulate the economic development with their geographic advantages. Since China launched the opening-up policy in the late 1970s, it chose four cities in southeast coastal areas and established special economic zones as a pilot program. In 1984, 14 port cities along the coastline were opened to foreign investors and businesses. The Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta were opened up in 1985. And four cities on the country's northern borderline followed suit in 1990.
Based on the experiences from the special economic zones, this policy is an important step in spreading the opening-up strategy across the country.
农村土地承包制 Rural Land Contract System
A fundamental economic system in rural areas guaranteeing farmers' rights to land owned by the collectives and the State by signing long-term contracts. Since the household responsibility system became an accepted form of agricultural land tenure in the early 1980s, the State formally approved farmers' rights to rural land in 1986 by stipulating all farmers have the right to undertake rural land contracts based upon families in the General Principles of the Civil Law. In 2002, a specific law governing rural land contract granted farmers inheritance rights to their land and the ability to exchange land with one another, to sub-rent, to pool land and to mortgage it for credit. The land contract has an extendable term of at least 30 years and cannot be suspended without bilateral agreements.
抓大放小 Restructuring Major Enterprises and Relaxing Control over Small Ones
A strategy for reforming the State-owned enterprises stressing that the major enterprises in key sectors should be supported to gain further development while the smaller ones should compete in the market.
Initiated in the mid-1990s when the country tried to step up the efficiency of State-owned enterprises as a whole, the strategy was formally accepted as a principle for reforming the public-owned economy in 1997. Big public enterprises were encouraged to develop into groups or establish partnership with each other. Smaller public enterprises were reformed flexibly through market-oriented means, like becoming shareholding businesses, acquisition and merger and contracting managing rights to individuals.
经济适用房 Economical Housing
Housing sold at low prices to low-income earners to get them affordable shelters. Starting in 1998, the central government decided to offer favorable policies to housing developers so that they could build apartments of specified sizes and prices. Families with living floor space or income under given standards could apply for purchasing the apartments at prices much lower than the market prices. Eligibility standards for purchasing economical housing are set by provincial authorities according to local situations. Economical housing is subject to special clauses for trading in market, which discourage profiting from the property. It is an integrated part of the State efforts to shelter groups with limited financial resources.