Thursday, January 08, 2009

Efficient and transparent use of govt funds urged

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang urged more efficient and transparent use of government funds as the country faces rising fiscal expenditures while tackling the global financial crisis.

China should strengthen management and scrutiny of the fiscal budget and should reduce administrative expenses as the country faces relatively high fiscal pressure, Li said at a national fiscal conference on Tuesday.

The government must "firmly oppose extravagance and waste", he said.

China will have "a difficult fiscal year" in 2009 because of lower tax revenues and surging expenditures, Finance Minister Xie Xuren said on Monday.

China's 2008 fiscal revenue is expected to rise 19 percent to exceed 6 trillion yuan (about $857 billion), said Xie.

That growth was slower than the 32.4-percent annual gain made in 2007.

The country's fiscal revenue increase started to slow down in the second half of 2008, said Xie. He attributed that change to economic deceleration, corporate profit decline and tax cuts made to boost growth.

China decided to carry out an "active fiscal policy" and "a moderately easy monetary policy" in 2009. It has unveiled a four trillion-yuan fiscal package to stimulate domestic demand.

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