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Better use of state funds ordered

Updated: Jun 10,2015 9:46 PM

Premier Li Keqiang chaired a State Council executive meeting on June 10, which decided to push forward overall measures on better use of government funds, expand a pilot program on consumer finance service, facilitate the development of cross-border e-commerce, and roll out measures to encourage migrant workers to return home to start up their own businesses.

The meeting instructs ministries and local governments to promote more efficient use of state funds.

* Recall funds that are not spent or carry-over funds local governments or departments fail to spend within two years, and channel the recalled funds into key projects;

* Funds in key sectors such as technology, education and agriculture will be integrated, and the use of unspent or carry-over funds will be accelerated;

* Set up a dynamic adjustment mechanism to enable the finance authority at the same level to recall a certain proportion of funds from projects that fail to spend the budgeted funds in a timely manner, and utilize the recalled funds for other projects;

* Clean up and consolidate the special transfer payment and delegate the power to local governments to decide the allocation of funds and projects, and allow them to pilot projects in comprehensive use of funds;

* Strengthen comprehensive intra- and inter-departmental coordination of funds, to avoid duplication in expenditure, and allow funds to be used in diverse projects;

* Include existing local government debt in the budget management system, and make a comprehensive use of the existing debt together with newly-added debt;

* Set up catalogs on government funds and special revenues, and strengthen the comprehensive use of government funds and State-owned capital transferred into general public budgets;

*Coordinate budget planning and implementation.

China will expand a pilot consumer credit service, which offers small loans without security to encourage more spending, especially among lower-income groups amid sluggish demand.

The meeting approved the expansion, from the previous pilot project in 16 cities to all over the country, saying that consumer finance that mainly serves people with low-to-medium income will unleash their spending potential.

Private capital, domestic and foreign banking institutions, and Internet companies are encouraged to set up consumer credit companies, and the approval procedure for the companies will be streamlined, according to a statement released after the meeting.

The administrative power to approve consumer credit companies will be delegated to provincial governments, which was previously held by the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the banking watchdog, the statement said.

Apart from consumer finance, the meeting listed initiatives to facilitate cross-border e-commerce with simplified customs procedures to boost demand and increase imports.

The State Council will also map out policies to encourage migrant workers, college graduates and demobilized soldiers to start businesses back in their hometowns, the meeting decided.

The policies aim to boost employment, increase residents’ income and promote coordinated development between industry and agriculture, and between urban and rural areas, through mass innovation and entrepreneurship.

The measures include:

* Simplify registration for business venues;

* Reduce tax and fees for migrant workers starting businesses;

* Explore the joint issue of debt by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in regions where a large number of people return to hometowns to start businesses, and encourage banks to step up lending;

* Develop business parks and incubators based on existing economic development zones and agricultural production parks;

* Strengthen employment training and incorporate the returned migrant workers into the local public service systems of social security, housing, education and medical care.