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China to strengthen budget management

Updated: Sep 4,2014 8:56 AM     Xinhua

China is strengthening budget management as government expenditures become more transparent and efficient, according to an executive meeting of the State Council.

The meeting, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Sept 2, said China is aiming to build a modern fiscal system, a highlight in the country’s ongoing fiscal reform.

The pledge came following China’s top legislature adoption of a Budget Law revision on Aug 31 which clears ambiguity and closes loopholes in managing the trillions of yuan involved in fiscal revenue and spending.

This marked the first time the Budget Law has been revised since it took effect in 1995.

China will step up budget supervision to make sure all government income and spending will be included in the management system, with greater transparency in information disclosure, said a statement from the meeting on Sept 2.

More efforts will be made to improve management on treasury funds in order to awaken “sleeping money”, according to the cabinet meeting, which also pledged tighter audit supervision to deter illegal activities.

The government will launch campaigns to clean up private coffers and scrap unnecessary fees, while regulating management on tax collection and nontax incomes.

Along with these efforts, China will allow provincial-level governments to issue bonds within a certain quota, while at the same time closely watching the debt risks.

“China will properly handle existing debts, while ensure that ongoing projects get following financing to support economic and social development,” the statement said.

Management of the huge public funds and supervision of its use remain key challenges for the Chinese government. In 2014, China’s fiscal revenue is budgeted to be 13.9 trillion yuan ($2.25 trillion) and government spending to be more than 15 trillion yuan.