BEIJING: China releases a budget for the first batch of projects to use funds raised through the additional one trillion yuan of sovereign bonds, were announced in October to be issued in the fourth quarter.
The first batch, totalling 237.9 billion yuan, was issued recently and will be allocated as subsidy funds, according to the Finance Ministry.
It encompasses three areas. the first is 107.5 billion yuan for post-disaster recovery and reconstruction and improvement of disaster prevention and reduction capability.
The second is 125.4 billion yuan for high-standard farmland construction in places including North-East China and disaster-stricken areas in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
And the third is some five billion yuan for the construction of key natural disaster prevention and control systems (meteorological infrastructure construction).
“To reduce pressure on local governments in allocating funds for applicable, the standards or proportions of the additional treasury bond-raised funds as subsidies have been raised in one move, with preferential support for central and western regions along with disaster-stricken areas,” said a Finance Ministry official.
The official said the ministry would issue the additional treasury bonds for other areas after reviews of the projects.
“The ministry will join hands with other departments to implement the disbursement and effectively regulate the use of the funds with strict standards to ensure the delivery of good results.”
According to the laws and regulations, provincial-level governments are required to issue budgets to lower-level governments within seven days of the issuance of the central government budget.
In addition, local governments are required to disburse any additional bond-raised funds in a timely manner according to the implementation progress of the projects and are not permitted to misappropriate them for other expenditures.
Local governments must not spend allocated funds in a rush at the close of a calendar year. They must also not spend them on projects that are prohibited for the use of such funds, such as office buildings, auditoriums, hotels, guest houses and image-boosting projects, or for purely commercial purposes.
The issued budget of 107.5 billion yuan for post-disaster recovery and reconstruction and improvement of disaster prevention and reduction capability will be allocated to support a total of 1,508 projects in 12 provincial-level areas, including in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
A key component of the projects will be the post-disaster recovery and reconstruction of educational and medical institutions such as schools and hospitals, as well as those in transportation, water conservancy and other infrastructure, to help people in disaster-hit areas rebuild their locales.
Meanwhile, the projects also include those related to risk management and reinforcement of reservoirs, river management and meteorological monitoring to help the areas better cope with extreme weather, further improve disaster prevention and reduction capability, and promote long-term regional peace and stability.
The 125.4 billion yuan for high-standard farmland construction and improvement will cover new construction and the improvement or restoration of 3.6 million ha of farmland in 1,336 counties nationwide.
Around 54% of the funds will be allocated to Northeast China and the disaster-stricken areas in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
The 13 main grain-producing provinces account for 78% of the total farmland. The funds to be allocated stand at 98.4 billion yuan or 79% of the total.
The funds will also cover all the farmland damaged by disasters as reported by provinces to support their recovery in a timely fashion. — China Daily/ANN
Source: The Star