Business / Economy

China fiscal revenue remains low, spending quickens

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-15 08:24

BEIJING -- Growth in China's fiscal revenue remained at a low level in April, while that in expenditure quickened sharply, underscoring government efforts to combat downward pressure on the economy.

In the first four months of 2015, fiscal revenue gained 5.1 percent to hit 4.99 trillion yuan. The growth was 6.3 percentage points lower than the rise seen in the same period last year.

The ministry attributed the tempering to lower global commodity prices that triggered a fall in import value, combined with slowing industrial activity.

Last month, the central government collected 628.5 billion yuan in fiscal revenue, up 8.1 percent year on year, while local governments saw fiscal revenue expand 8.2 percent to 721.7 billion yuan.

Affected by the sluggish property market, real estate business tax went down 11.9 percent year on year, and deed tax decreased 12.8 percent to 27.8 billion yuan.

In the same month, national fiscal spending expanded 33.2 percent from a year ago to 1.25 trillion yuan, with spending on transportation surging 57.8 percent.

The slower fiscal revenue growth came as China's year-on-year economic growth in the first quarter came in at 7 percent, the lowest quarterly growth rate since 2009.

The finance ministry last month urged local authorities to advance fiscal and tax reforms as it worries that slowing revenue would have negatively impact on achieving the 2015 development target.

The ministry asked local authorities to deepen fiscal reform, cut red tape and spend unused fiscal funds.

They were also told to speed up local government debt issuance, improve management of fiscal funds and accelerate expenditure.

Premier Li Keqiang, speaking at the opening of the annual parliamentary session, stressed that a proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy would continue in 2015 in a bid to hit the growth target of around 7 percent for the year.

China plans to raise its budget deficit to 2.3 percent of its GDP for 2015, up from last year's target of 2.1 percent.

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