Wandering China

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Central govt spent 5.64 trillion yuan last year [Global Times]


The Global Times takes a look at central government spend in 2011.

Total spend = 5.64 trillion yuan

Fiscal reserves = 5.13 trillion yuan

Deficit = 650 billion yuan

– – –

Central govt spent 5.64 trillion yuan last year
By Yang Jingjie
Source – Global Times, published June 28, 2012

The central government spent 5.64 trillion yuan ($886 billion) last year, with sectors directly related to people’s livelihoods seeing the highest growth and the military recording a slightly slower growth in its expenditure.

In a final report on the implementation of the 2011 budget to the ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), Finance Minister Xie Xuren said the central government’s fiscal revenues for 2011 reached 5.13 trillion yuan.

Meanwhile, the central government spent 5.64 trillion yuan last year, resulting in a fiscal deficit of 650 billion yuan.

Defense spending reached nearly 583 billion yuan last year, rising by 12.6 percent compared with the previous year, according to Xie.

TThe growth was lower than the average growth of defense spending between 2008 and 2010, which was 13 percent. And the proportion of defense spending in the overall central government expenditure dropped from 11.3 percent in 2008 to 10.3 percent.

Li Jie, a researcher at the Chinese Naval Research Institute, told the Global Times that the lower growth was in line with the slowdown in military spending worldwide.

“Despite growing uncertainties in the region, tense situations involving China only took place occasionally in some particular areas. The spending was in accordance with the development needs in our military,” he said.

The central government spent 103.7 billion yuan in the public security sector, making up just a small part of the overall spending in public security, leaving the lion’s share to local governments.

Local authorities’ expenditure for public security was unavailable as of press time.

Also, spending directed to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan-inhabited regions grew by 54 percent over the previous year.

Xie said about 1.2 trillion yuan was spent on education, social security, the construction of affordable housing, health and medical sectors, which are directly related to people’s livelihoods. These sectors saw a combined growth of 30.7 percent compared with 2010, and accounted for 20.7 percent of the overall spending.

Ye Qing, a professor with the School of Public Finance and Taxation under the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, said that although the money directed to improving people’s livelihoods is growing at a rapid pace, more ambitious steps should be taken.

“Due to the problems that have been accumulating for decades, people can barely feel great improvements despite reinforced spending,” said Ye, noting that China even lags behind some other developing countries in terms of fiscal support to improve people’s livelihoods.

On the structure of the central government’s spending, Ye noted that it’s critical for the authority to scale back administrative costs and improve the government’s efficiency.

Officials from central government departments used 9.34 billion yuan of public money for receptions, overseas tours and vehicle use, which are considered key areas of corruption, said Xie.

Although the so-called “three public expenditures” were lower than the 9.47 billion yuan spent in 2010, Ye regarded the decline as being far from enough.

China’s top auditor Liu Jiayi also delivered the 2011 audit report during the session.

Liu said the Ministry of Railways illegally shortened the application period for companies bidding on infrastructure construction projects on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway from at least five days to 13 hours.

He also revealed that 20.8 million yuan allocated for the reconstruction projects following a 2010 landslide in Zhouqu, Gansu Province was found to have been channeled into individual bank accounts during the settlements.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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Filed under: Chinese Model, Domestic Growth, Economics, global times, Government & Policy, Infrastructure, National Medium- and Long- term Talent Development Plan, Politics, Social

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