China’s central government vows to control operational spending in 2024
Published: Mar 26, 2024 05:14 PM
Chinese yuan Photo:VCG

Chinese yuan Photo:VCG

China's central government expenditure is expected to rise 8.6 percent year-on-year in 2024, which will grow by only 0.3 percent from a year earlier, as the government pledges to live on a tight budget, an official with the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday.

The ministry said that fiscal expenditure will focus on ensuring major national strategic tasks, including education, technological innovation and national defense, and the interest paid on government bonds. 

Efforts will be made to further improve the structure of government spending so as to strictly control general expenditures, the official said in a statement published on the ministry's website.

Moreover, the ministry will make budgets more binding to strictly control excessive spending and waste, the official said, noting that central governments will streamline unnecessary holiday celebrations, forums and exhibitions, and instead will hold meetings, trainings and conduct investigations in a more efficient way.

The ministry will assess central government departments' implementation of the requirements on a quarterly basis. In addition, the ministry will revitalize stock assets and strengthen the maintenance of related assets to avoid assets being idled, the official continued.

This year's Government Work Report stressed that governments at all levels must engage in belt tightening, run on a leaner budget, and ensure that fiscal funds are used where they are needed most and to the best effect.

China has set the deficit-to-GDP ratio for 2024 at 3 percent and the central government's budget deficit at 4.06 trillion yuan, an increase of 180 billion yuan from a year earlier, according to the Government Work Report.

The central government vowed to increase cash transfers to local governments to ensure equal access to basic public services, appropriately tilting to those regions facing economic difficulty.

Global Times