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HIGHLIGHTS-China lays out economic blueprint for 2013

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

(Adds agriculture and energy)

BEIJING, March 5 (Reuters) - China published its economic blueprint for the year on Tuesday, targeting 7.5 percent growth in its gross domestic product that would keep the world's second-largest economy on an even keel.

The plan was presented to the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's parliament, by outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday before he hands over to his successor Li Keqiang. Below are highlights from the report.

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ON ECONOMIC GROWTH, INFLATION:

"This year's economic growth target of around 7.5 percent is necessary and appropriate, and we need to work hard to achieve it."

"In the current stage, the role investment plays in promoting economic growth cannot be underestimated. Governmental investment is important in guiding non-governmental investment, but its share of the country's total investment is decreasing, so we must further relax controls over market access for non-governmental investment and stimulate it."

"There are relatively big inflationary pressures this year, mainly because there are pressures on China's land, labour, agricultural products and services. And major countries are stepping up loose monetary policy, so we can't overlook imported inflationary pressures."

ON MONETARY, FISCAL POLICY:

"We will strike a balance between promoting economic growth, stabilising prices and preventing financial risks."

"We will maintain reasonable growth in money supply and credit and appropriately expand the social financing aggregate."

"We will continue to implement pro-active fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy to maintain continuity and stability and make policy more forward looking, targeted and flexible."

ON FX, INTEREST RATE REFORMS:

"We will steadily push forward market-oriented reforms in interest rates and the exchange rate, expand the use of the renminbi in cross-border trade settlements, gradually achieve convertibility of the renminbi under the capital account, deepen reforms of the financing and investment system and push price reforms.

"We have drafted reform plans for income distribution. We will study the detailed policy.

ON PROPERTY CONTROLS:

"We will strengthen property market adjustments and speed up construction of affordable housing. We will curb speculation and speculative demand. This year we will basically finish construction of 4.7 million units of affordable housing, and start building 6.3 million units.

ON CORRUPTION:

"We should unwaveringly combat corruption, strengthen political integrity, establish institutions to end the excessive concentration of power and lack of checks on power and ensure that officials are honest, government is clean and political affairs are handled with integrity."

"We should ensure that the powers of policy making, implementation and oversight both constrain each other and function in concert and that government bodies exercise their powers in accordance with statutory mandates and procedures."

ON TRADE, INVESTMENT OVERSEAS:

"China aims to boost total foreign trade by 8 percent this year."

"We should both keep exports stable and expand imports. We should raise the quality and returns of foreign trade rather than just increase its volume, and raise its overall competitive advantages instead of relying on cost and price advantages."

"We will continue to encourage companies to go out."

ON URBANISATION:

"We will actively and steadily push forward the healthy development of urbanisation."

ON ENERGY PRICE REFORMS

"We will improve the pricing mechanism for refined oil products. We will comprehensively reform natural gas prices. We will organise the implementation of the reform plan to make thermal coal prices more market-based. We will improve the system of progressive pricing for household electricity consumption and the pricing policy for electricity generated from renewable energy sources ... and try out progressive pricing for household natural gas consumption."

ON LAND REFORM

"The rural land system is central to maintaining rural stability and ensuring China's long-term development ... its main objective is to ensure that China's farmland remains at or above the red line of 120 million hectares."

"We will guide the transfer of contracted rural land-use rights in an orderly manner, and promote appropriately large-scale operations of land. We will offer more policy support to farmer cooperatives, service organizations in rural areas and leading industrialized agricultural production enterprises.

ON OVERCAPACITY, CONSOLIDATION

"We will restrain blind expansion of industries that are energy-intensive and highly polluting or have excess production capacity.

"We will apply strict energy, environmental, and safety standards for market access; and accelerate mergers and reorganisations in industries with excess production capacity."

ON AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT

"We should always give high priority to grain production, develop high-yield basic farmland, spread advanced technologies, increase overall agricultural production capacity and effectively ensure the supply of grain and other important agricultural products.

"We will further raise the minimum purchase prices of wheat and rice by 10 yuan and 10.7 yuan per 50 kg respectively; temporarily purchase and stockpile corn, soybeans, rapeseed, cotton and sugar."

ON ENERGY CONSUMPTION

"We will cut both energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by more than 3.7 percent and continue to reduce the discharge of major pollutants.

"We will continue to carry out trials to develop an online system for monitoring energy consumption among major energy consumers.

"We will formulate a national master strategy for adapting to climate change. We will comprehensively promote trials and demonstrations for low-carbon development, implement a pilot project to trade carbon emissions and research and establish a national emissions trading scheme." (Reporting by Kevin Yao, Koh Gui Qing, Niu Shuping and Fayen Wong; Editing by Jonathan Standing and Ed Davies)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130304/highlights-chinas-wen-lays-out-blueprint-2013