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CPPCC Member Calls for More Subsidies to Agriculture

Wang Shaojie, vice-chairman of the China Democratic National Construction Association (CDNCA), urged the government to increase subsidies to agriculture and give attentive ear to farmers.


Wang, who is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made this call at a plenary meeting of the current CPPCC annual session.


Speaking on behalf of the CDNCA Central Committee, he pointed out that China's agricultural subsidies make up only 8-9 percent of the total output value of agriculture as against 50 percent in the United States, 60 percent in Japan, and 76 percent in the European Union.


In addition, he said, the structure of government spending on agriculture is irrational, with indirect support bigger than direct support and the funds for agriculture are not well matched.


Wang advanced the following representations on behalf of CDNCA: 


-- To adjust the fiscal spending on agriculture, invest more in rural elementary education and make provincial finances pay for the overhead expenses of agricultural departments;


-- To straighten up the agricultural investment management system and raise investment efficiency;


-- To hear from all quarters, especially the voices of the people working the land in taking policy decisions;


-- To unify urban-rural tax regime, changing agricultural tax into agricultural income tax and value added tax, with those whose income is below the taxable amount exempted;


-- To increase direct subsidies to farming, especially production of advantage agricultural products and formulate regulations on supporting and protecting agriculture.

(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2004)

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