China to accelerate issuance, use of local government bonds

Updated: Jun 9, 2020 Xinhua Print
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The Ministry of Finance on June 8 called for efforts to expedite the issuance of local government bonds and accelerate use of the funds raised from those bonds.

Funds raised from special local government bonds should primarily be used to invest in major sectors and major projects, according to a statement issued by the ministry after a national meeting of financial officials.

The funds should also be used to catalyze investment from the private sector to support those sectors that address inadequacies, to improve people's well-being, and to boost consumption and domestic demand, it said.

Great importance should be attached to preventing debt risks, Finance Minister Liu Kun said at the meeting, urging efforts to enhance regulation in order to hold accountable those responsible for illegal and irregular practices in bond issuance. He also ordered risk control to forestall systemic risks.

China plans to issue 3.75 trillion yuan (about $528.91 billion) of special local government bonds this year, 1.6 trillion yuan more than last year.

Officials at the meeting agreed to increase government investment to counter the downward pressure on economic growth, expand tax and fee reduction policies to help enterprises tide over hard times, and strengthen budget balance to mitigate the adverse impact of the epidemic on fiscal revenue growth, the statement said.

China has vowed to pursue a more proactive and impactful fiscal policy, setting its fiscal deficit above 3.6 percent of GDP, 0.8 percentage points higher than that of 2019.

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