The publication of agriculture-related price and fee standards has significantly cut the financial burdens of Chinese farmers since August 2001, an official said Thursday.
With the establishment of a system that makes fee collection procedures in the countryside more transparent, local governments have canceled unjustified fees or lowered excessive rural charges, the official said at a national meeting organized by the State Development Planning Commission (SDPC).
A number officials responsible for imposing overcharges on farmers have also been punished.
SDPC statistics show that in the first four months of this year, 75,200 overcharging cases were scrutinized, involving 1.29 billion yuan (155 million US dollars).
Wang Yang, vice minister in charge of the SDPC, said the new system has proved to be important for improving fee collection transparency and social supervisory mechanisms. It is an effective measure to regulate fee collecting, stop unjustified fees and safeguard farmers' legal interests.
(Xinhua News Agency July 12, 2002)