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Pollution curbs to replace GDP to judge officials' performance

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

Amid concerns over rising pollution level across China, the government plans to fix improvement of air quality as key parameter to gauge bureaucrats' careers, replacing the decades-old emphasis on GDP.

After a long period of prioritising economic development over environmental protection, officials are now likely to see their future career shaped by how effectively they combat the rampant pollution, an official media report here said.

Emphasis on pollution clearance would replace the fixation on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which for over three decades remained the main gauge for judging performance of the officials.

The careers of all top officials, including President Xi Jinping, were determined by their ability to generate higher GDP when they worked in various provinces.

The changed parameters were expected to be announced at the annual session of the National People's Congress, the Chinese parliament which begins its fortnight long session here next week, state-run China Service reported.

Lawmakers around the country have already proposed legally binding targets to curb pollution, it said.

Local legislators and political advisors have announced goals to clear air pollution.

At least 15 provinces have signed deals that promise "marked improvement" in air quality in five years, it said.

Among them, Beijing plans to spend USD 124 billion to fight the smog. Its neighbouring province of Hebei vowed to sack any official who allows steel or cement production more than the mandated quota.

Shanghai has also proposed better coordination with provinces on the Yangtze Delta in work to reduce emissions.

First Published: Thu, February 27 2014. 12:10 IST