High-ranking provincial officials will be held accountable for poverty alleviation in their areas under a set of new assessment measures that have been issued by the central government.

The five-year measures are aimed at effectively supervising and evaluating the performance of local authorities in 22 central and western assessment provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions each year, as they work to identify, support and reduce the number of poor.

Organized by the State Council Leading Group of Poverty Alleviation and Development, the measures took effect on Feb 9 and introduced the concept of third-party evaluation from scientific research institutions and social organizations.

It is hoped that independent evaluation will offer effective supervision of the assessment process and prevent local government intervention, thereby ensuring credibility and reliability.

Officials to be measured by anti-poverty work

Under the new measures, the role of major provincial officials is emphasized, and they will be held accountable for the progress and results of local poverty relief work.

Rewards will be given to provinces that make great strides in annual poverty reduction, but if local authorities fail to meet targets, violate regulations or engage in fraud, the State Council leading group will issue reprimands.

By directly linking poverty alleviation with provincial officials’ political performance assessments, it is hoped that the goal of lifting all of China’s impoverished people out of poverty by 2020 can be achieved on time.

Since reform and opening-up began in the 1970s, more than 700 million of China’s rural residents have been lifted out of poverty, but an estimated 60 million impoverished people remain nationwide.

“Lifting all the impoverished population out of poverty and removing the label of ‘poverty-stricken’ from all counties is the bottom-line goal of comprehensively building a well-off society,” said Liu Yongfu, director of the State Council Leading Group of Poverty Alleviation and Development.

By WANG YIQING Mar. 22, 2016 on China Daily

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