BEIJING, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- China lifted an average of 13.9 million people out of poverty each year from 2012 to 2016, and the annual per capita income in impoverished rural areas has grown 10.7 percent every year, according to a report from the State Council Tuesday.
The report on poverty relief work was delivered by Liu Yongfu on behalf of the State Council at the ongoing bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.
China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang attended the session.
"The State Council has always put a lot of effort into poverty relief. The government work reports in the past four years all promised to lift at least 10 million out of poverty," said Liu, director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development.
From 1978 to 2016, about 730 million Chinese people has been lifted out of poverty.
China has set 2020 as the target year to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society, which requires the eradication of poverty.
As of the end of 2016, there were 43.35 million people in China living below the country's poverty line of 2,300 yuan (348.9 U.S. dollars) of annual income as constant with 2010 prices, accounting for about 3 percent of China's population.
To achieve the target, China needs to bring more than 10 million people out of poverty every year, meaning nearly one million people per month or 20 people per minute.
According to global experience, the most difficult phase in poverty eradication is when the population living in poverty accounts for less than 10 percent of the overall population.
"The task has become more difficult and costly as the process approaches its end," said Liu.
The report pointed out that 775,000 officials have been sent to impoverished areas for poverty relief work.
The central government's spending on the cause had increased from 39.4 billion yuan in 2013 to 86.1 billion yuan in 2017, the report noted.
China has also established a national database collecting information of impoverish people since 2014, said the report.
The database records the distribution of impoverished population, the reasons for poverty and the needs of impoverished people.
Liu said 2017 is an important year to achieve the target and promised to "work together to conquer the difficulties in this battle against poverty."
The five-day session lasts until Sept 1.