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Poverty alleviation funds hit historic record

China Daily, October 14, 2016 Adjust font size:

Central and provincial government funds for poverty alleviation reached a historic record, exceeding 100 billion yuan for the first time ever. The fund from the central budget increased to 66.7 billion yuan, up by 43.4 percent compared to last year. The provincial budgets exceeded 40 billion yuan, which increased more than 50 percent than last year.

Su Guoxia, spokeswoman for the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, released information on the latest progress on Thursday.

Efforts are being made to strengthen financial services to lift people out of poverty. Micro-credit services for poverty reduction were set up to provide guarantee-and-collateral-free loans of up to 50,000 yuan at base rate with the maximum period of three years. These services enjoyed interest subsidies from the poverty-alleviation fund and county-level risk compensation fund.

Central Bank lending to financial institutions for poverty reduction was set up to benefit businesses directly engaged in poverty eradication and new types of agricultural business owners.

Specialized financial bonds were issued. The bonds started from funding resettlements and then moved on to supporting infrastructure development, photovoltaic industries, tourism and other poverty-reduction projects and new industries.

Efforts are also being made to develop new sources of funding to support poverty reduction endeavors. By expanding public financial transfers, the government increased investments in infrastructure, such as water, electric power, road, gas and internet access, and in basic public services improvement.

The poverty identification process was improved and data accuracy increased. A total of 9.29 million people were removed from the poverty list and another 8.07 million were added.

President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang both addressed the challenge of poverty alleviation at the Central Poverty Alleviation and Development Conference held at the end of November 2015. The central government then issued Decisions on Fighting Poverty, making overall arrangements on poverty alleviation during the 13th Five-Year Plan. Over the past year, the campaign against poverty is being carried out nationwide.