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
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
-- 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)