Key points of Premier Wen's government work report:
• China to control scale of megacities in urbanization drive: Wen
• China to optimize government expenditures: Wen
• Wen suggests new gov't expanding domestic demand
• Wen stresses concrete action in addressing environmental woes
• Facts and figures: China's major development goals for 2013
• China to further 'stimulate' private investment: report
• China to 'firmly rein' in property speculation: report
• China to increase 2013 deficit to 1.2 trillion yuan
• China lowers 2013 inflation target to 3.5 pct
• China keeps 2013 GDP growth target unchanged at 7.5%
• China to continue 'proactive fiscal, prudent monetary' policy
BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday advised his succeeding government to carry out urbanization "actively yet prudently", keep the scale of megacities and large cities at an appropriate level and drive the development of their surrounding areas.
"Urbanization is a historical task in China's modernization drive," Wen told nearly 3,000 national legislators at the opening session of the 12th National People's Congress.
In his last delivery of government work report as China's premier, Wen said he made his suggestions "based on an understanding of the work of the past ten years, especially of the past five years" as part of the country's efforts to promote integrated urban and rural development.
The current session of legislature will name a new premier to succeed 71-year-old Wen.
Wen said the government should promote sound development of urbanization by making plans scientifically, balancing geographical distribution, coordinating urban and rural development, using land economically and tailoring measures to local conditions.
He noted small and medium-sized cities and small towns should become better able to develop industries, provide public services, create jobs, and attract residents.
In accelerating urbanization, the government should speed up reform of the household registration system, create an equitable institutional environment for freedom of movement and expand the coverage of basic public services in urban areas to migrant workers and other permanent residents, he said.
The urbanization rate rose by 1.3 percentage points to 52.57 percent last year, 0.5 percentage point higher than expected, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. The government expected the rate to climb further to 53.37 percent in 2013.
Rural issues were also among Wen's concerns in advising the new government as the rural land system is central to maintaining rural stability and ensuring China's long-term development.
He saw faster agricultural development, more significant changes in rural areas and more tangible benefits were seen in recent years than in any other period.
"In rural areas are all the major and difficult problems that we face in finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects," Wen noted, adding: "We must make solving issues relating to agriculture, rural areas and farmers the top priority in all our work."
The government expected total grain output to surpass 500 million tonnes, with plans to provide safe drinking water for another 60 million rural people, making safe drinking water available to 87 percent of the rural population, and build or upgrade 200,000 km of rural roads.