BEIJING, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- China plans to cut the number of counties eligible for state poverty relief, an official said on Monday.
There are 832 counties that receive relief and preferential policies, said Wang Guoliang, deputy director of the State Council Leading Group Office for Poverty Alleviation and Development.
The list was first introduced in 1986, when 331 counties were on it, Wang said.
Policies are being examined to get counties off the list. Many counties are unwilling or not forthcoming in being removed from the list.
Rural people with an annual net income per capita of 2,300 yuan (337.05 U.S. dollars) or less are classified as poor under the poverty standard adopted in 2011, up from the 1,274-yuan standard used previously.
But China's poverty line, which is equivalent to less than 1 U.S. dollar a day, is still lower than the World Bank poverty line of 1.25 U.S. dollars a day.
The number of people suffering from poverty in rural areas stood at 98.99 million at the end of 2012, down 23.39 million from 2011, according to the office.