China to increase investment budget

Updated: 2007-12-08 11:14

BEIJING -- China's central government will increase its overall investment budget and continue to adjust investment structure, the nation's top economic planning agency said on Friday.

Ma Kai, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a national development and reform meeting that after "continuous and rapid" increase in fiscal revenue in recent years, China will mainly use its fiscal expenditure to improve people's livelihood and boost economic and social development in weak and backward areas.

He didn't disclose the specific figures for 2008, noting a relevant ministry is working at the budget.

The fiscal budget for 2007 reached 2.687 trillion yuan (US$358.2 billion), up 14.4 percent year on year.

Ma said the larger investment will be mainly used in construction of rural regions and the western areas, energy-saving and emission reduction projects, innovation, social welfare and on major infrastructure projects.

Ma said that the central government planned to issue smaller amounts of long-term construction debts next year.

The 2007 Central Economic Work Conference, which finished on Wednesday, said China will maintain a "prudent" fiscal policy for the coming year.

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