China will relocate more than nine million poor people to geographically less disadvantaged areas at a cost of USD 158 billion as part of government's efforts to eliminate poverty by 2020.
The Chinese government has announced its plan to relocate the 9.81 million people from 22 provinces during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020). The plan has been approved by State Council- the chief administrative authority of China.
The relocated citizens will be limited to those who live in impoverished regions with unsustainable conditions.
A report in the state-run People's Daily said the programme will cost around 950 billion RMB (USD 158 billion).
Impoverished regions are divided into four groups, including regions with fragile environment and harsh natural conditions, which 3.1 million individuals call home.
Also included are regions with weak infrastructure, where 3.4 million of the citizens in question currently live.
Around 110,000 kms of roads and 140,000 kms of water pipes will be built for the resettlement, while many new schools and clinics will also be established to meet the migrants' needs.
In addition to fiscal support from the central government, additional channels will also be used to finance relocation, including local government debts and long-term, low-cost loans, according to the plan.
As of last year, there were around 70 million people living below the poverty line in China, many without access to roads, water or power, according to official media reports.