China may extend home appliance subsidies to solar products
Updated: 2012-01-19 14:38
BEIJING - China may include solar products in a home appliance subsidy scheme for rural buyers in a bid to boost domestic consumption and the green industry, a local newspaper reported Thursday.
The government is mulling subsidizing farmers' purchase of solar products such as solar water heaters, the China Securities Journal said, quoting unnamed sources.
Under the current subsidy program, farmers can receive subsidies equal to 13 percent of the price of designated types of electrical home appliances.
The plan is expected to benefit the country's solar industry, which has been booming in recent years, driven largely by government promotion of alternative energy. But it has also become troubled by global industrial overcapacity and slumping foreign demand, the newspaper said.
The move will also be part of government efforts to better tap the domestic market as European and U.S. economic woes sap exports. Government subsidies already led to a 53.1 percent year-on-year surge in sales of household appliances in China's rural areas in 2011.
The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) is considering more policies to stimulate domestic consumption and some "fiscal incentives" could be given to drive the sale of household solar products, MOC spokesman Shen Danyang told a press conference Wednesday.
Zhao Ping, an expert with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the MOC, said energy-saving products, solar products and alternative-energy cars are likely highlights in the country's consumption stimulus policies in the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015).
China's retail sales rose 18.1 percent year-on-year in December 2011, accelerating from a 17.3 percent growth in November, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday.
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