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China to abolish ancient agricultural tax
Updated: 2005-12-29 19:17

China is abolishing its 2,600-year-old agricultural tax effective Jan. 1, the government announced Thursday, part of the goverment's effort to improve the lot of hundreds of millions of poor farmers.

A farmer takes a break at a crop field Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2002 in Fengyang, Anhui Province, China. China will abolish its 2,600-year-old agricultural tax effective Jan. 1, the government announced Thursday.

China's leaders announced in 2004 plans to eliminate many basic taxes within five years and to subsidize grain output.

Most of the 800 million people living in China's countryside have been left behind by the country's economic boom. The government has made improving the lives of the rural poor a priority.

The National People's Congress approved Thursday "a motion on abolishing the regulations on the (farm) tax," the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"China's 2,600-year-old agricultural tax will no longer exist as of Jan. 1, 2006," it said.
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