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Tax-for-fee Reform Impending in Yunnan

Yunnan Province in southwest China will start a tax-for-fee reform in its rural areas this year, according to a working conference of the provincial government Tuesday.

As part of the reform, fees for rural education, the butchery tax, compulsory labors and other charges on farmers will be abolished, Governor Li Jiating said at the conference.

The rates of agricultural tax and tax for special local products will be adjusted.

The ultimate purpose of the reform is to reduce the burdens on farmers and increase their income, as the Chinese government has identified slow rise of farmers' income as a major social and economic problem.

According to the governor, different rates of agricultural tax will prevail in different regions according to their economic situation, but the highest rate will not exceed seven percent.

Meanwhile, the province will embark on a series of reforms of its rural administrative, financial and educational systems, including the merger of small towns and schools to reduce costs.

A scheme for the tax-for-fee reform has been compiled and is being given the last touch before being implemented by the end of June, Governor Li said.

(Xinhua 03/28/2001)

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