Fiscal funding provides solid support to poverty alleviation: minister

BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) — China has put poverty reduction high on its agenda of fiscal expenditure arrangements, ensuring fiscal support for winning the war against poverty, according to Finance Minister Liu Kun.

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, special funds for poverty alleviation from China’s central government rose to 146.1 billion yuan (about 22.39 billion U.S. dollars) this year, Liu told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The country has seen an increase of 20 billion yuan of such funds each year over the past five years, with the total amount of allocated funds in the 2016-2020 period surpassing 530 billion yuan, Liu said.

The central government also earmarked 30 billion yuan this year to fund efforts on lifting the remaining poor population out of poverty, ensuring employment of poverty-stricken labor force and linking sales and production in rural areas.

Meanwhile, the country also used various policy instruments such as tax cuts, government investment funds and agricultural credit guarantees to channel more social capital into the country’s poverty relief work.

China has decided to set a five-year transition period for counties that have shaken off poverty, and gradually shift the policy focus toward comprehensively promoting rural vitalization, according to the two-day annual central rural work conference that concluded in Beijing on Tuesday.

Fiscal policies will remain generally stable during the transition period, with more support rendered to the country’s western regions to help them consolidate poverty-relief achievements, Liu added.

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