Report on China's central, local budgets (2012)

1) Main items provided for in the central budget

(1) Main revenue items

On the basis of relevant targets set forth in the plan for national economic and social development, we have considered factors that could increase or reduce revenue due to adjustments in fiscal and tax policies, analyzed and calculated figures for all revenue items, and set the following targets for major revenue items in the 2012 central budget: revenue from domestic VAT will amount to 2.025 trillion yuan, up 10.8%; revenue from domestic excise tax, 770 billion yuan, up 11%; revenue from customs duties as well as VAT and excise tax on imports, 1.7528 trillion yuan, up 8.7%; revenue from corporate income tax, 1.112 trillion yuan, up 11%; revenue from individual income tax, 340 billion yuan, down 6.4%; VAT and excise tax rebates on exports, 995 billion yuan, up 8.1%; and non-tax revenue, 282.6 billion yuan, up 5.6%.

(2) Main expenditure items

In compiling the central expenditure budget, we have further optimized the spending structure. The main expenditure items are arranged as follows.

The appropriation for education is 378.132 billion yuan, an increase of 16.4%. This consists of 102.887 billion yuan of central government spending and 275.245 billion yuan in transfer payments to local governments. We will allocate 15 billion yuan, up 48.1%, in subsidies to implement a host of policies and measures for promoting the development of preschool education, with the focus on the central and western regions and poor areas of the eastern region. We will spend 105.754 billion yuan to improve the mechanism for guaranteeing funding for rural compulsory education, push forward upgrading of weak rural compulsory education schools, implement the plan to attract exemplary teachers to work in rural compulsory education schools and the state programs to train primary and secondary school teachers, and promote balanced development of compulsory education. We plan to disburse 16 billion yuan in rewards and subsidies to carry out an initiative designed to improve the nutrition of rural students attending compulsory education schools in contiguous areas with particular difficulties. We will earmark 8.2 billion yuan to exempt urban compulsory education students from tuition and miscellaneous fees, and make compulsory education equally available to children of rural migrant workers in cities. We will allocate 25.68 billion yuan, up 91.7%, to further strengthen vocational education infrastructure and phase in a system to make secondary vocational education free of charge; 20.697 billion yuan in subsidies to improve the policy system for providing government financial aid to students from poor families; and 135.25 billion yuan, up 24%, to advance Project 985 and Project 211 and support the development of local colleges and universities.

The appropriation for science and technology is 228.546 billion yuan, an increase of 12.4%. This figure consists of 223.44 billion yuan of central government spending and 5.106 billion yuan in transfer payments to local governments. We will further improve the structure of science and technology spending, and highlight support for key areas. We will appropriate 45.6 billion yuan to ensure the implementation of major state science and technology projects. With a total allocation of 32.459 billion yuan, we will increase investment in the State Natural Sciences Fund, and give impetus to capacity building in key state laboratories and basic research institutes. We will disburse 119.39 billion yuan, an increase of 19.7%, to support research on cutting-edge technologies, research for public benefit, and R&D on major generic key technologies. A total of 4.12 billion yuan will be earmarked to strengthen R&D on and industrial application of key industrial technologies and to help enterprises increase their innovation capabilities. We will launch a state seed fund for applying scientific and technological advances to spur their translation into practical productive forces. We will guide the development of local scientific and technological work toward the creation of regional innovation systems with distinctive local features. We will protect intellectual property rights more effectively and promote the development of Chinese intellectual property rights.

The appropriation for culture, sports, and media is 49.384 billion yuan, up 18.7%. This figure consists of 20.733 billion yuan of central government spending and 28.651 billion yuan in transfer payments to local governments. We plan to allocate 14.546 billion yuan to develop the system of public cultural services, support free admission to public cultural facilities such as museums and public libraries, and continue to implement key cultural projects that benefit the people. We will appropriate 6.124 billion yuan, up 40%, to strengthen protection of key national cultural artifacts, major cultural and historical sites, cultural resources related to the early history of the CPC, and intangible cultural heritage; 2.75 billion yuan, up 37.5%, to strengthen the international broadcasting capability of key media and support efforts to take Chinese culture to a global audience; and 3.4 billion yuan, up 70%, to support the development of the culture industry.

The appropriation for medical and health care is 203.505 billion yuan, an increase of 16.4%. This figure consists of 8.331 billion yuan of central government spending and 195.174 billion yuan in transfer payments to local governments. We plan to allocate 105 billion yuan in subsidies, up 37%, to raise government subsidies for the new rural cooperative medical care system and basic medical insurance for non-working urban residents to 240 yuan per person per year, and appropriately increase the proportion of costs that are reimbursable. We will improve the national system of basic drugs, and deepen the comprehensive reform of community-level medical and health care institutions. We will allocate 35.8 billion yuan to improve the mechanism for ensuring funding for delivering basic public health services to rural and urban residents, and continue to implement basic public health programs and prevent and control major communicable diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis. We will accelerate trial reforms in public hospitals, with particular focus on county-level hospitals. We will support the work of providing medical assistance to rural and urban residents with an appropriation of 11.483 billion yuan.

The appropriation for social security and employment is 575.073 billion yuan, an increase of 21.9%. This figure consists of 57.063 billion yuan of central government spending and 518.01 billion yuan in transfer payments to local governments. We plan to allocate 77.1 billion yuan in subsidies to ensure all eligible rural and urban residents are covered by the new old-age insurance system by July 1 this year. We will earmark 217.373 billion yuan in subsidies to continue to increase basic pension benefits of enterprise retirees and improve the overall planning system for basic retirement pension funds for enterprise employees at the provincial level. We will appropriate 92.888 billion yuan to raise subsistence allowances to a suitable level, with per capita monthly benefits to be increased by 15 and 12 yuan for urban and rural recipients respectively, and to further improve social assistance systems targeted at orphans, people with disabilities, vagrants, and beggars. We will disburse 28.837 billion yuan to raise subsidies and living allowances for entitled groups as needed, 13 billion yuan to guarantee basic living conditions of disaster victims, and 43.917 billion yuan to increase policy support for employment.

The appropriation for guaranteeing adequate housing is 211.755 billion yuan, an increase of 23.1%. This figure consists of 37.44 billion yuan of central government spending and 174.315 billion yuan in transfer payments to local governments. We will appropriate 178.746 billion yuan, an increase of 24.8%, to build low-income housing projects, appropriately expand the scope of dilapidated rural houses eligible for policy-backed renovation and raise the standard of subsidies from the central government, and steadily push forward the construction of permanent housing for nomads.

The appropriation for agriculture, forestry, and water conservancy is 549.145 billion yuan, up 14.8%. This figure consists of 42.744 billion yuan of central government spending and 506.401 billion yuan in transfer payments to local governments. We will advance the construction of small irrigation and water conservancy facilities in key counties, appropriately raise construction and subsidy standards, and intensify efforts to harness small and medium-sized rivers, reinforce dangerously defective small reservoirs, and prevent and control geological disasters due to mountain torrents. Altogether, allocations for agricultural and rural infrastructure development stand at 165.446 billion yuan. We will appropriate 169.338 billion yuan to improve the policy on subsidies for superior crop varieties, scale up general subsidies for agricultural supplies and subsidies for the purchase of agricultural machinery, increase the areas and crop varieties eligible for subsidies on agricultural insurance premiums, and further increase subsidies for afforestation. We will earmark 10.1 billion yuan, up 53%, to increase funding for agricultural science and technology, improve the environment for fostering innovations in this area, develop a modern seed industry and a system for spreading agricultural technologies in villages, translate advances in agricultural science and technology into practical productive forces, and promote wider application of agricultural technology. We will appropriate 29.012 billion yuan to strengthen comprehensive agricultural development, with the focus on main grain-growing areas and major grain-producing counties. We will fully implement the subsidy and award policy for grassland ecological conservation with an allocation of 15.058 billion yuan. We will significantly increase investment in comprehensive poverty relief efforts to enhance self-development capabilities of rural poverty-stricken areas and the poor population, and 37.286 billion yuan of special government funds will be used to support these efforts, up 18.7%. We will also appropriate 24.8 billion yuan in subsidies to continue to implement the government award and subsidy system for village-level public works projects, the launching of which is determined by villagers themselves, and to improve the mechanism of village-level public service projects being run by villagers and subsidized by the government.

The appropriation for energy conservation and environmental protection is 176.91 billion yuan, up 9%. This figure consists of 6.344 billion yuan of central government spending and 170.566 billion yuan in transfer payments to local governments. We will appropriate 106.919 billion yuan, up 13.3%, to support the following energy conservation and emissions reduction efforts: to continue the construction of key energy conservation projects, strengthen energy conservation in key areas, intensify the implementation of the project for promoting energy-efficient products for the benefit of the people, retire backward production facilities, strengthen heavy-metal pollution prevention and treatment as well as comprehensive environmental improvement in rural areas, and continue the construction of sewer lines to complement urban sewage treatment facilities. We will allocate 47.456 billion yuan, the same as last year, to consolidate progress in protecting virgin forests and returning farmland to forests and grazing land to grasslands. We will disburse 14.1 billion yuan to accelerate the development of new, renewable, and clean energies; give impetus to the cleaner use of energy; and vigorously support the development of a circular economy. We will also actively address global climate change, and support efforts to meet action targets for controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

The appropriation for transportation is 356.593 billion yuan, up 8.1%. This figure consists of 43.465 billion yuan of central government spending and 313.128 billion yuan in transfer payments to local governments. We will appropriate 236.744 billion yuan to improve the overall transportation capacity, and build national and provincial trunk highways, inland waterways, integrated passenger and freight transportation hubs, and other public transportation infrastructure. We will allocate 65.946 billion yuan to continue providing fuel subsidies for rural and urban public transportation and other public service industries. We also plan to disburse 26 billion yuan for subsidies to local governments to phase out tolls on government-financed Grade II highways.

The appropriation for resource exploration, electricity, and information is 87.726 billion yuan, up 6.1%. This figure consists of 45.06 billion yuan of central government spending and 42.666 billion yuan in transfer payments to local governments. We will disburse 14.659 billion yuan, up 42.4%, to promote the development of small and medium-sized enterprises in these areas, especially small and micro businesses; 39.674 billion yuan for the construction of resource exploration, electricity, and information infrastructure; and 7 billion yuan to continue supporting technology R&D and demonstrations of industrial applications in strategic emerging industries.

The appropriation for stockpiling grain, edible oils, and other materials is 97.419 billion yuan, up 9.4%. This figure consists of 60.957 billion yuan of central government spending and 36.462 billion yuan in transfer payments to local governments. We will continue to implement the policy of direct grain subsidies, and earmark 32.03 billion yuan for grain risk funds. We will improve systems for purchasing and stockpiling grain, cotton, and other main agricultural products, steadily raise the minimum purchase prices of wheat and rice, and allocate 51.876 billion yuan for reserves of grain, edible oils, and other important materials.

The appropriation for national defense is 650.311 billion yuan, an increase of 11.4%. This comprises 647.92 billion yuan of central government spending and 2.391 billion yuan in transfer payments to local governments. We will support modernization of national defense and the military, improve training and living conditions of service men and women, and enhance the armed forces' capability to accomplish diverse military tasks.

The appropriation for public security is 182.664 billion yuan, up 7.7%. This figure consists of 114.289 billion yuan of central government spending and 68.375 billion yuan in transfer payments to local governments. We will improve the system for ensuring funding for procuratorial, judicial, and public security departments; steadily increase subsidies to those at the local level; and support local governments, especially those in the central and western regions, in clearing debts incurred from building infrastructure for their procuratorial, judicial, and public security departments, in order to make them better able to provide public services and administration. We will improve foodstuff inspection and testing capabilities of primary-level supervisory authorities to ensure food safety. 

(3) Central government tax rebates and transfer payments to local governments

Central government tax rebates and transfer payments to local governments will amount to 4.5101 trillion yuan, up 13%. This figure consists of 518.855 billion yuan in tax rebates, up 2.2%; 2.252619 trillion yuan in general transfer payments, up 23.1%; and 1.738626 trillion yuan in special transfer payments, up 5.2%. General transfer payments aimed at making basic public services more equally accessible will reach 858.365 billion yuan, which includes 107.5 billion yuan in awards and subsidies for implementing the mechanism to ensure basic funding for county-level governments, 37.1 billion yuan for priority functional ecological zones, and 27.765 billion yuan in awards to major grain-producing counties. General transfer payments for compulsory education will be 168.032 billion yuan; for basic pension benefits and subsistence allowances, 377.438 billion yuan; for the new rural cooperative medical care system, 106.348 billion yuan; for awards and subsidies to village-level public works projects, 25.309 billion yuan; and for reforming taxes and fees on refined petroleum products, 78.4 billion yuan.

An analysis of the above expenditures shows that in 2012 the central government will spend a total of 1.3848 trillion yuan, an increase of 19.8%, in areas that directly affect people's lives, namely education, medical and health care, social security, employment, guaranteeing adequate housing, and culture. Central government spending on agriculture, water conservancy, public transportation, energy conservation, environmental protection, urban and rural community affairs, and other areas that are closely related to people's wellbeing will amount to 1.5124 trillion yuan. Most central government tax rebates and general transfer payments to local governments will also be used to maintain and improve living standards. Appropriations from the central budget for agriculture, rural areas, and farmers will total 1.22866 trillion yuan, up 17.9%. This figure consists of 472.42 billion yuan of expenditure on agricultural production; 162.8 billion yuan in direct subsidies to grain growers, general subsidies for agricultural supplies, subsidies for superior crop varieties, and subsidies for the purchase of agricultural machinery; 531.39 billion yuan to develop rural education, health care, and other social programs; and 62.05 billion yuan for stockpiling agricultural products and associated interest payments. A total of 402.6 billion yuan will be appropriated for central government investment in capital construction.

Overview of the central budget stabilization fund

The fund had a balance of 87.8 billion yuan at the beginning of 2011. During budget implementation, it was replenished with surplus revenue and unspent budgeted expenditure, giving a total increase of 289.2 billion yuan. The outstanding balance of the fund stood at 377 billion yuan at the end of last year. After the transfer of 270 billion yuan to the budget at the start of 2012, 107 billion yuan remains.

2) Main items provided for in local budgets

Main revenue items

Revenue from domestic VAT will reach 664 billion yuan, up 10.9%; from business tax, 1.482 trillion yuan, up 9.7%; from corporate income tax, 755 billion yuan, up 12%; from individual income tax, 226.7 billion yuan, down 6.4%; from urban construction and maintenance tax, 292 billion yuan, up 12%; from deed transfer tax, 305 billion yuan, up 10.4%; and non-tax revenue, 1.2485 trillion yuan, up 10.1%.

Main expenditure items

The appropriation for education is 1.790024 trillion yuan, up 18.4%; for science and technology, 211.03 billion yuan, up 13.2%; for culture, sports and media, 197.15 billion yuan, up 15.9%; for medical and health care, 726.46 billion yuan, up 15.4%; for social security and employment, 1.236729 trillion yuan, up 16.2%; for guaranteeing adequate housing, 402.4 billion yuan, up 15.2%; for agriculture, forestry and water conservancy, 1.081678 trillion yuan, up 14.2%; for urban and rural community affairs, 858.605 billion yuan, up 12.4%; and for transportation, 779 billion yuan, up 9.1%. The above expenditures include appropriations of local governments using tax rebates and transfer payments from the central government.

Local revenue and expenditure budgets are compiled by local people's governments and subject to approval by people's congresses at their respective levels.

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