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Social Services Win in Funding Shake-Up

Sub-district governments in Pudong New Area will be concentrating on providing social services and public amenities, after a shakeup of government financing.

The sub-district governments of Pudong had been financed from tax imposed on companies in the area. Now the governments no longer have to spend time and energy pursuing companies to raise revenue.

Instead funding will come from the new area government and six economic zones, as well as tax revenue.

"The reform aims to make Pudong's 12 sub-districts put the emphasis on social services," said Zhang Xuebing, governor of the new area.

Zhang said the new area government will increase the budget for the sub-districts by 200 million yuan (US$26.32 million) every year.

"The most important responsibility for the sub-districts governments is to help more people find employment," he said.

The new policy is part of a comprehensive reform approved by the State Council for Pudong.

Finances for the sub-district governments were mainly financed from taxes raised from companies registered in the sub-districts.

Sub-district governments had to allocate staff and time in their efforts to attract more companies to the districts and this hampered their role as social service providers.

"When our sub-district was first formed in 1999, we worked very hard to attract companies," said Wu Anqiao, Party secretary of the Dongming Road sub-district government.

(Shanghai Daily July 27, 2007)

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