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Full Text: Report on China's central, local budgets (13)
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18:26, March 20, 2008

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III. Managing Public Finance in Accordance with the Law and Strengthening Scientific Management to Ensure Satisfactory Implementation of the 2008 Budgets

To ensure satisfactory implementation of the 2008 budgets, we will take all factors into consideration and comprehensively strengthen fiscal management to make it more scientific and detailed, focusing on the following tasks.

1. We need to standardize budget management. We will make sure that funds are made available for more budgetary items at the beginning of the year. We will work more resolutely to make budget compilation more scientific and accurate. Control over surplus budgetary funds will be tightened. We will gradually set up sound standards for asset allocation and incorporate newly added asset allocation items into departmental budgets. This will create a working mechanism that effectively combines asset management with budgetary management. We will strengthen management of budget implementation to make it more efficient. We will work out a dynamic system for monitoring local government budgets at all levels, and improve the dynamic mechanism for monitoring budgetary funds in the treasury. We will set up a sound mechanism for coordinating the compilation and implementation of budgets. We will stimulate the enthusiasm, initiative and creativity of all departments that compile their own budgets for strengthening the supervision of budget implementation. In addition, all departments must assume responsibility for implementing their budgets. State budgetary supervision and oversight authorities must assume responsibility for overseeing the implementation of budgets.

2. We need to strengthen collection and management of revenue. We will help tax and customs authorities strengthen tax collection and management in accordance with the law. Tax reductions and exemptions will be strictly controlled to resolutely stop and correct unauthorized introduction of tax exemption and reduction policies. These policies are sometimes disguised in the form of first levying taxes, then granting rebates. Preferential fiscal and taxation policies for experimental and development zones will be reviewed and standardized. We will severely crack down on tax evasion, tax fraud and other illegal activities. We will move forward with the pilot project of the electronic tax payment system that connects finance and tax departments, banks and the treasury in a network. We will gradually work out policies and measures for incorporating all extra budgetary funds into budgets. In accordance with the principle of strengthening tax collection and screening fees, we will optimize the structure of government revenue and review all fees and funds and eliminate those that are illegal or unreasonable. We will put the revenue derived from leasing or lending state-owned assets of administrative bodies and from disposing of state-owned assets of government-affiliated institutions under the scheme of keeping revenue and expenditures separate. We will continue to improve the policies for managing non-tax revenue and the system for its centralized collection by the treasury. We will collect and manage taxes in accordance with the law, and collect all taxes due without exception to ensure the sustained, steady growth of government revenue.

3. We need to improve management of expenditures. We must guarantee expenditures in key areas such as agriculture, rural areas and farmers, education, science and technology, medical and health care, and the social safety net. We will work hard to lower our administrative costs. We will strictly curb increases in the expenses for personnel, official car use, meetings, computer networks and entertainment, and limit the construction of new office buildings for Party and government departments. A policy of zero growth will be applied for spending on official visits abroad. Redundant workers will be excluded from the system of unified payment of wages or salaries. Unauthorized departments will also be excluded from the public finance system. Bankcards will be widely used to pay the expenses of official business of central and provincial-level government bodies. We will expand the scale of trials to introduce government procurement and centralized payment from the treasury for special transfer payments and work out an oversight mechanism. We will distribute government funds more scientifically, fairly and transparently. We will improve management of government debts and strictly control new debts to prevent and defuse financial risks. We must bear in mind the "two imperatives" (It is imperative to always be modest, prudent, and free from arrogance and rashness in our work and it is imperative to continue following the principle of hard struggle and plain living, Tr.), tighten financial and economic discipline, resolutely combat extravagance and waste, practice thrift in everything we do, and use funds more efficiently.

4. We need to improve financial legislation. We will work vigorously to create conditions for upgrading mature interim tax regulations into substantive tax laws to improve our system of tax laws. We will do a good job revising the Law on Certified Public Accountants and enacting the Interim Regulations on Transfer Payments, the Regulations on Managing Non-tax Government Revenue, the Regulations on Managing the Lottery, the Regulations on Implementing the Government Procurement Law and the Regulations on Supervising the Operating Budgets for State Capital in Enterprises. We will improve the oversight mechanism for enforcing financial laws and regulations, and make administrative enforcement by financial authorities more effective. We will improve the procedures for approving and supervising items that are subject to administrative examination and approval, and strictly control making new items subject to administrative examination and approval. We will continue to press ahead with research on reform of government accounting. We will improve the financial system of enterprises. We will institute a system of corporate accounting standards in unlisted SOEs and state-owned financial enterprises. We will modify financial rules and accounting standards and systems for government-affiliated institutions.

5. We need to strengthen oversight of public finance. We will set up a sound oversight mechanism for all aspects of public finance, and integrate oversight of operations at all stages from beginning to end. We will strengthen oversight and inspection of funds to be used for education, medical and health care, and the social safety net. Oversight and inspection of the accounting information provided by enterprises, administrative bodies and government-affiliated institutions and of the practices of accounting firms will also be strengthened. We will encourage and support local finance authorities in strengthening their oversight function and improving their financial supervision. We will strengthen oversight and management of certified public accountants and the asset evaluation industry. Financial authorities at all levels must administer public finance in accordance with the law; tighten management; improve internal control mechanisms; willingly accept the oversight by the NPC and local people''s congresses at all levels, auditing authorities and the general public; and listen carefully to the suggestions of CPPCC committees. We will improve the democratic decision-making mechanism for public finance and increase public participation in decision-making about public finance. We will implement the Regulations on Making Government Information Public to improve transparency in our financial work. We will accelerate efforts to establish the Government Financial Management Information System to get modern information technology to fully play its role in strengthening financial management.

The year 2008 is the first year to fully implement the strategic arrangements made at the Party''s Seventeenth National Congress and the middle year of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan period. It is extremely important to implement the budgets and do all our public finance work well. Under the leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, let us hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, follow the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, and thoroughly apply the Scientific Outlook on Development. Let us forge ahead in a pioneering spirit, work in a down-to-earth manner, and energetically contribute to achieving further success in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

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