The budget committee of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Congress (MPC) spent Sunday reviewing the government’s annual budget report, making sure that more money will be invested in improving people’s livelihood and every penny is spent where it is needed, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported Jan. 21.
In the view of MPC deputies, the limited financial resources should be focused on education, health care, elderly care, social security and other fields that bring tangible benefits to the people.
According to deputy Wu Bin, although the government has increased its investment in education, higher education accounts for a larger share. The shortage of seats in public primary and secondary schools, and of quality kindergartens, still remains.
Wu suggested that the city increase investment in preschool education and basic education, and initiate the establishment of a 15-year compulsory education system covering kindergarten through senior high school.
Deputies from Pingshan, Longgang and Bao’an districts and Dapeng New Area have complained about the imbalanced development between the districts inside and outside the former special economic zone.
The special economic zone used to consist of Futian, Luohu, Nanshan and Yantian districts before it was expanded to cover the entire city in May 2010.
The deputies suggested that the government’s financial investments continue to lean toward districts and new areas outside the former special economic zone, especially regarding the construction of cultural facilities.
Deputy Huang Xiang took Pinghu Subdistrict as an example. The subdistrict, located in northwestern Longgang District, covers an area of 40.99 square kilometers and has 12 communities with a total population of about 500,000.
However, the subdistrict has a serious shortage of cultural facilities. The coverage of cultural and sports facilities in the subdistrict is 0.14 square meters per capita, which is far below the national average.
Moreover, the existing cultural and sports venues are in poor condition. There are also not enough venues for cultural performances and sporting events.
Huang proposed that the government give priority to these districts and new areas when considering the locations of new cultural and sports facilities.