Strengthening poverty reduction
Through the project of breeding wild yaks in the Damxung County in western Tibet, a poor county in animal husbandry only, the income of farmers and herders has risen by 4.18 million yuan with the average annual household income of 408 poor households, up by 2,975 yuan and the average personal income by 600 yuan.
Tibet is the only poverty-stricken region at the provincial level in China with concentrated poor areas. It is an arduous task to help 833,000 people to shake off poverty. In 2010, the net annual income of farmers and herders was 4,339 yuan, less than 70 percent of the national average. Poverty is even more severe especially in the remote and sparsely populated area, the endemic disease-stricken area, the frigid pastoral area, the great canyon area in eastern Tibet, and the rural and pastoral area in the middle of Tibet due to their closeness, locals’ lack of job skills as well as limited education and job opportunities.
The Tibet local government has made great efforts in alleviating poverty of these targeted areas through special policies in industrial development, infrastructure improvement, water control, and construction f transportation, education and public health facilities on a one-on-one basis.
It is expected that 128,000 people will reduce poverty by the end of this year, the population of low-income people will decrease from 585,000 in 2012 to 457,000, and the proportion of the low-income people to the overall population of the farmers and herders will go down from 23.9 percent to 18.73 percent, which will cover 370,000 people in 77,000 households totally. And it is predicted that the net income of the targeted poor will grow by over 15 percent, according to Hu Xinsheng, director of the Poverty Reduction Office of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Invigorating cultural activities
In the Nyemo County of Lhasa, movie theatres, art performance rehearsal halls, computer labs, gyms as well as billiard rooms and table tennis rooms can all be seen in the local community cultural center.
"They are all free," said the head of the center.
The Nyemo county cultural center was only one of such centers across the entire region. Up till now, 216 townships have been equipped with the standardized cultural centers. In addition, a complete network of one regional-level sub-center, 73 county-level branch centers, 200 township-level centers and 3,000 village-level ones have been established. Besides, other cultural projects have been conducted including the translation from Tibetan to Chinese of eight major Tibetan operas, a folk Tibetan dance database as well as some digital materials. The total investment of 1.3 billion yuan for all the six major projects with 600 secondary projects has all been materialized during the 12th five-year plan period (2011-2015).
The cultural center is an important part of the overal strategy of providing cultural service for the locals. By far there are 500 long-term amateur art performing teams, 100 local Tibetan opera performing teams, with a total 2,000 performers in 51 local art troupes throughout the Tibet Autonomous Region, who have received a total of annual subsidy from 50,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan from the regional government and an foreseeable rise from the governments on the municipal or county levels.
Speeding up development to increase Tibetan people’s income
In the first half of this year, Tibet ranks first in China in its growth rate of the total investment volume of 500-million-yuan fixed assets, the industrial value added of scale economies, the total sales volume of consumption goods, the average annual disposal income of urban residents, scoring quite an achievement in Tibet’s economic development.
From January to September, the total annual output reached 57.57 billion yuan, an increase of 12 percent year on year, with the growth rate up by 0.6 percent and 4.3 percent than the national average.
The infrastructure construction projects such as the railway from Lahsa to Shigatze, the highway from Lhasa to east Tibet’s Nyingchi, the heating system in Lhasa, the Pondo water control project as well as the newly opened Modog Highway have enhanced the economic growth with the total investment volume in fixed assets of 65.5 billion yuan, risen by 31.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters of this year.
Thashi Gyatso, director of Tibet Transportation Bureau said，in the next five or eight years, Tibet is expected to reduce the bottleneck of transportation in its economic and social development.
Starting from 2013, the finance industry has also seen development through adjusted structure, specifically, the increasing micro-credit loans to the small enterprises outside the farming and pastoral areas. By the end of this September, the total balance of loans of small and medium-sized enterprises has amounted to 37.18 billion yuan, up by 16.79 billion yuan over the beginning of this year, an 82.34-percent increase.
(Currency exchange rate: 1 US dollar = 6.18 yuan)