Premier Zhao Ziyang yesterday set a modest growth rate for China's development up to 1985, as the country builds a springboard for an attempt to quadruple economic output by the year 2000.

Unveiling China's long-delayed, sixth five-year plan, Zhao told the National People's Congress that the government expected gross farm and industrial output to reach $435.5 billion in 1985, a 21.7 percent rise over 1980.

He told the 3,000 delegates to China's nominal parliament that China's tough policy of economic readjustment would still allow for the completion of 400 large construction projects and left room for overfulfillment of targets.

Zhao said total investment in capital construction would be the equivalent of $142 billion. When the Chinese under Deng Xiaoping introduced the policy of readjustment in 1979, it was aimed at curbing profligate spending on overly ambitious projects and indiscriminate purchasing of foreign technology.

The emphasis since has been on readjusting the proportion between industry and agriculture, between light and heavy industries and between savings and investment.

Zhao said that the plan calls for a 4 percent annual increase in the gross output value of industry, which is said to be lower than the average rate for the previous 28 years.