Beijing will collect no more administration fees and government charges from its farmers during the 10th Five-year Plan (2001-05) period, according to a meeting held days ago on alleviating the financial burden of farmers.
Beijing published charges imposed on farmers from the end of last year. Up to now, most towns and villages set up bulletin boards to display fees collected from farmers. The idea was to help farmers gain a clearer understanding of the fees they paid. The capital city distributed Supervision Cards for the Burden of Farmer to its 900,000 farmers, which listed items, standards and levy measures charged to them.
The city abolished 49 items from its list of charges to lighten the financial burden of farmers in recent years. The annual amount of fees reduced totaled 200 million yuan (about US$24 million).
At present, the fees levied by town and village administrations account for only 1 percent of a farmerís income, significantly lower than the national standard of 5 percent.
(china.org.cn by Feng Yikun, October 19, 2002)