Rural development fund to play more enhanced role
A guideline on the long-term integration of rural development funds was issued by the State Council on Dec 21, aiming to establish a long-term mechanism to integrate rural funds by 2020.
The guideline points out that rural funding is an important part of the country’s financial and tax reform, as well as in the investment system, and the new guideline aims to solve the problem of overlapping management and the unfocused use of funds.
Overlapping State rural development funds in the same industry should be avoided and integrated into two categories, namely transfer payments and infrastructure investments, said the document. A list of tasks should be issued for local authorities concerning the use of each fund, with the allocation of funds being consistent with the tasks. A performance evaluation mechanism should be set up for the implementation of tasks and use of funds.
If funds from different departments have similar purposes, such as funds for the construction of high-standard farmlands, they should be coordinated in the process of budget execution, according to the guideline.
State Council adjusts approvals in Beijing
The State Council decided to make temporary adjustments to a number of administrative regulations as well as rules for market access in Beijing.
Adjustments were mainly related to areas concerning foreign banks, entertainment venues, foreign-invested aviation, allowing foreign businesses to invest in these fields in Beijing. For example, the new adjustment has canceled the previous upper limits for the proportion on foreign investment in the culture and entertainment industry in Beijing.
Reform in green damage compensation to expand
The General Offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council jointly issued a document on Dec 17, announcing that China will establish a comprehensive damage compensation system to protect and improve the ecosystem by the year 2020.
It announced that China will expand a pilot reform nationwide starting next year, obliging polluters to repair the environment or pay a compensation. The reform has already been piloted in Chongqing municipality and the provinces of Jilin, Jiangsu, Shandong, Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan and has seen progress. The ministry will also work to develop an environmental damage assessment system and regulate the assessment procedures.
China has launched a series of campaigns to fight pollution and environmental degradation, and more than 1,000 officials have been held accountable for environmental damage.