The central government is to abolish, exempt or lower 15 charges on the country's 900 million farmers in a bid to reduce their excessive financial burdens.
The Ministry of Finance and the State Development and Reform Commission published the list of the 15 charges, involving quarantine certificates, licensing fees for using water resources, education, land-use rights certificates, and charges for fishing boat inspections.
The two departments also urged regional governments to abolish, retain or lower local charges on farmers.
The government will not approve any new administrative fee charges on farmers before the end of 2005 unless required by law.
The government has abolished at least 100 taxes and charges imposed by central and local governments on farmers in recent years, as most Chinese farmers cannot afford them.
(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2004)