Beijing: As the rich-poor divide widened in China after it embraced market economy, large sections of the people in the country are feeling a sense of inequality over the wealth distribution, according to official surveys.
    
Results of Researchers' surveys carried by People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), showed that the wealth gap is being "widely felt among the Chinese public."
    
Civil servants, private enterprise owners and employees are all feeling a sense of inequality in terms of how wealth is distributed in China, the report said.
    
A similar survey in 2007 survey had shown that only farmers felt that wealth distribution was fair, possibly because the government rescinded agricultural taxes and began providing tuition waivers to rural students in 2006, Zheng Gongcheng, a professor at Renmin University, was quoted as saying.
   
Another survey in 2010 said farmers too perceive a wealth gap, Zheng said, adding that China's social security system should be improved to provide people with better expectations of stability and to ease anxieties.
   
He stressed that wealth gaps are a normal phenomenon in market economies, adding that the government should still be wary of the gap's widening tendency and eliminate inequality by cracking down on monopolisation and corruption.
    
According to official statistics, in 2000, the average household disposable incomes of rural and urban families were 2,253 yuan (USD 354) and 6,280 yuan (USD 987), respectively, whereas in 2010, the figures stood at 5,919 yuan (USD 930) and 19,109 yuan (USD 3,003) respectively, with the gap increasing by more than 9,000 yuan (USD 1,414) over the period.
    
Moreover, statistics show that the average salary of employees of the country's public-owned financial companies is more than four times the income of a worker in the agricultural industry.

Agencies