Shanghai has jettisoned its official economic growth target for 2015, the first major city or province in China to abandon such metrics as government policy shifts towards growth quality over quantity, the Financial Times reported Monday.
Growth in gross domestic product (GDP) has long been a key metric to evaluate the performance of local officials, helping to determine their promotion prospects.
Last year, President Xi Jinping said that China could “no longer simply use GDP growth rates to decide who the [party] heroes are”.
At least 70 smaller cities and counties abandoned GDP targets last year, mostly in areas with high poverty rates and those with special agricultural or ecological value.
But the move by Shanghai, one of four Chinese mega cities with province-level administrative status, marks the first such move by a highly developed urban area, the report said.
At least two municipal districts in Shanghai had previously canceled gross domestic product targets for 2015, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Shanghai will “grow steadily, continue structural optimisation, and further increase quality and efficiency” in 2015, Shanghai mayor Yang Xiong said in his government work report to the city’s legislature on Sunday.
Excessive focus on gross domestic product has contributed to environmental degradation and urban sprawl as officials encouraged heavy industry and bulldozed agricultural land to build housing developments, analysts said.
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