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08:55 Sep 29 2011

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Helping Tibet (2)
08:54, September 29, 2011  

Throwing off dependence
However, Li has also discovered some problems in the "Aid Tibet" program. "Repeated projects have been seen in some places," Li said.

Meanwhile, the uneven aid handed out to different regions has also added to the imbalance in regional development in Tibet, Li said.

According to the requirements of the central government, inland provinces and municipalities that joined the partnership assistance program launched in 1994 should allocate 0.1 percent of their fiscal revenues to aid Tibet.

Saga, one of the three counties aided by Jilin Province, can get 20 million yuan ($3 million) from 2010 to 2012, while Ngamring county of Xigaze, one of the five counties aided by Shanghai, can receive at least 150 million yuan, Li said.

"The best way is to put the 'Aid Tibet' funds from inland areas, enterprises and institutions into a pool and allocate it to regions in Tibet according to real demand," Li suggested.

Professor Jin noted that the development of Tibet relies too much on financing from the central government and inland regions.

"Nine out of 10 yuan spent from local financing in Tibet has come from central revenue," Qiangba Puncog, former chairman of the Tibet autonomous regional government, has said.

Jin estimated that the percentage is even higher.

The annual fiscal revenue of Saga county, for example, was 3.5 million yuan, but its expenditure was around 100 million yuan, according to Li.

"Tibet has a vulnerable ecosystem, so its modernization should have distinctive characteristics," Li argued. "More efforts should be made by exploiting more tourism sites and coming up with new concepts."

One of Li's concepts for Saga involves experiencing a site in a class-four region on the plateau.

Though Li hoped to work longer in Saga, he believes the way to accelerate Tibet's development is to set up an exchange mechanism for local officials, enabling them to work inland and gain experience.

"Meanwhile, professionals such as teachers and healthcare workers are more needed than officials here," Li said.

From: Global Times

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