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China Adjusts Central Budget for Post-Quake Reconstruction
    2008-06-27 10:19:57     CRIENGLISH.com

 China says it will allocate extra 70 billion Yuan, or over 10 billion U.S. dollars, as reconstruction fund for the quake regions in Southwest China's Sichuan and neighboring provinces.

The country's top legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, has approved a plan to adjust this year's central budget.

Our reporter Shuang Feng has the details.

The central government has decided to allocate another 70 billion yuan from this year's central budget to establish a reconstruction fund for the quake-hit region.

To date, both the central and local governments have allocated more than 50 billion yuan, or nearly 9 billion U.S. dollars, for relief and reconstruction works.

But this is still not enough. As reconstruction enters into a new phase, long-term reconstruction plan is needed with sufficient financial support.

Xie Xuren, Minister of Finance, reported to NPC's Standing Committee that the launch of the quake reconstruction fund is very necessary.

"The central government has established funds to stablize budget in 2006. Currently, the fund has over 100 billion yuan that can be used. Allocating part of the funds for reconstruction will not affect the regular functions of the budget.It is a way to properly satisfy the needs for reconstruction."

According to the plan, 60 billion yuan will come from the special fund for stabilizing the central budget. The rest will come from vehicle purchase tax revenue, welfare lottery fund and budget for operations of state-owned assets.

"By establishing the fund, the money coming from different channels can be gathered together and used under unified management. This is for the efficient usage of the fund."

The minister elaborated that the fund will be used in at least four areas,including subsidies for reconstructing public buildings and funding for disaster prevention and control.

About half of the fund will be used to build new houses for victims. Xie Xuren stressed that the use of fund will focus on people and this is the most important principle.

"The arrangement of the reconstruction fund will be people-oriented. We will first ensure victims' basic living standards, and support the reconstruction of public facilities. We will also properly arrange expenditures for restoration of urban and rural infrastructures, as well as for industry and commerce."

Xie said the government will strengthen its administration and supervision of the fund, and prevent embezzlements.

Shuang Feng, CRI news.

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