CHINA> National
Advisor proposes granting red packets to whole nation
Updated: 2009-03-11 15:44

A political advisor proposed that, in the year of celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of People's Republic of China, one third or one sixth of country's 4 trillion yuan economic stimulus package should be used as red packets granted to the whole nation directly.

He Xingliang, a deputy from Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, presented his suggestion on the 11th National People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) session in Beijing on March 10.

A red packet is a red envelope with money in it. It is a Chinese tradition to present red packets on social and family occasions such as a wedding reception or Chinese New Year.

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The 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China is a joyous festival for the Chinese people, He said. "Giving red packets is the fairest and simplest way for the whole nation to share the achievements of reform and opening up. Especially to the 80 million rural residents, the money should be of great significance in improving and enhancing their life quality," He stated.

He has estimated that 1.3 billion yuan would be needed if each people obtain 1,000 yuan and picking the amount from 4,000 billion yuan could quickly stimulate the domestic demands.

"Red packets will be given as fixed coupons to mainly purchase industrial products like household appliances rather than daily necessities. Coupons can be used with cash," He added.

Some Chinese economists recommended following the US's tax refund strategy, but He reckoned it would not suit China's situation, given that farmers would benefit little from the strategy.

Liu Hanyuan, a CPPCC member, said the government should provide every citizen annual coupons worth up to 4,000 yuan ($584) to encourage domestic consumption.

Liao Xiaojun, deputy of Minister of Finance stated that no nationwide coupons would be given, on the sidelines of the annual session in Beijing March 8. Also, Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce said there was no plan on this issue at present.